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ArmoB or 









If the readers of this bright little book have as much 
pleasure in its perusal as its English Editor has had, 
they will have no reason to complain of the time they 
bestow upon it. It is the Robinson Crusoe of Mis- 
sions, and is directed, as most readable little books are, 
very chiefly to the world of children ; but sensible, 
grown-up people always like good children's books, and 
we fairly confess that our sister from the green moun- 
tains of Vermont has so bewitched us, that amid many 
toils and pressing duties, in a land of civilization, we 
have found it a daily refreshment to turn with her into 
the jungles, and listen to the mountain echoes. We 
have followed her steps over crag and hill, and reposed 
with her in gorge and glen ; have gone out with her 


Karens to fell timber for the Institute, or sat within 
listening to her lively and practical Bible lessons, luxu- 
riating always in all her tableaux tivans of the match- 
less mountaineers, and truly, we are half sorry that our 
task is over. 

Stem critics have bid us part with the first chapter : 
we can only say to the reader that when he has arrived 
at the end of the book, he will return to it as a natural 
Preface to the Mission work accomplished. For our- 
selves, we like to know when such a " teacheress " was 
"raised," as her countrymen would say. This work 
for the Karens must have been done. This loving 
leadership of the wild and untaught children of the 
hills must have been undertaken, and the native poetry 
of their peculiar history and character has found its 
record from the sympathizing heart of woman; of a 
woman made meet for the singular occasion. 

Mrs. Mason fills her niche in the long line of Ame- 
rica's noble sons and daughters, (how many 
now gathered "to the shining shore,") who s^em t 
have had appointed to them by their Master's hand, 
and by consent of other Missionaries, the mighty privi- 


lege of seeking and carrying the word of salvation to 
the mysterious and scattered descendants of long-exiled 
"Israel," — a privilege that bids us glory in the 
Anglo-Saxon origin and language of the successful 
explorers. For further details on this head, we must 
refer the reader to our concluding chapter, and in our 
Introduction confine ourselves to indicating what the 
rest of the book is about. 

It is chiefly the history of the raising of Self-sup- 
porting Female Schools among the Karens, in which 
shall be trained those village teachers and Bible-readers, 
who shall spread everywhere the knowledge of the Lord 
among a people prepared above all others by ancient 
associations to receive it. 

Mrs. Mason remarks, that teachers, as men, have 
seldom the time and the patience to sit down on a low 
seat with the ignorant, and say one simple truth over 
and over, in varied ways. 

If you would have Burmah redeemed to the Lord, 
she adds, send woman to woman, and let her teach the 
A B C of Christianity, which is mothers' work all the 
world over : — " Moung Shway Moung is like Mount 

a 2 


Meru, very high ; he knows everything," say the 
women of Burrnah, "but he can't talk woman talk; 
we don't understand ;" therefore, if you want to teach 
heathen women, begin with them as girls. 

Now, this is what Mrs. Mason has done, amid many 
"waitings, and watchings, and wearyings, ami heart- 
achings." She has had the gift from God t>. ,-tir up 
others to liberal donations and earnest labours in this 
department. She has persuaded wild chiefs to choose 
the cleverest girls of their clans, and bring them down 
from the mountains to be educated, support bag them 
and providing for their simple wants while undergoing 
the process. The capacity and docility of the pupils 
are amazing, and the result of their acquirement.-, ae 
taught to others almost as soon as attained by them- 
selves, is not a little marvellous. The true elevation of 
woman by Christian education has been thus recogi 
as a duty by the chiefs of seven tribes in Tounghoo. 

So few people read a Preface, that we have sometimes 
thought it is scarcely worth while to write one ; we 
hasten, therefore, to dismiss our readers to their moun- 
tain rambles, believing that they will return from them 


most deeply interested in the hitherto despised and 
outcast Karens, and willing to help in every way the 
disinterested workers in that now important .Missionary 

It may only be further necessary to remark, that the 
name of the nation is pronounced Kar-rens, the first 
syllable short ; and the appellation " mama," so fre- 
quently used by the natives, is not pronounced as in 
English, but contrariwise — mam-ma, the accent on the 
first syllable. 

L. N. R. 



Chap. Page- 

I. — Among the Green Mountains . . 1 
II.— Halting* among the Cities and Waters of Mak- 

taban ....... 14 

III.— The Dong Yahn Conquerors — My Husband's 

People ....... 28 

IV.— Beginning of the Tounghoo Mission . 55 


VI. — The Minstrel and his Battle Song . 96 

VII — First Christian School in Tounghoo . 105 

VIII.— Karen Dress— Witchcraft— My Tutauman 116 


I. — Going to India — not Overland 
II. — The First Girls' School in Tounghoo 
III. — Gathering up the Manna 
IV. — Forming an Education Society 
V. — Getting a Title Deed . 
VI. — The Karen Canaan 
VII. — Civilizing Mountain Men 
VIII. — Establishing a Karen Ferry 
IX. — Seeking Timber for the Institute 
X. — Life in the "Woods 



XI. — Conquering Difficulties 

XII.— The Raising — the Pic-nic 
XIII. — The Karen National Banner 
XIV. — Help from England 

XV. — The Tabernacle in the Mountains 
XVI— The Mighty Hand in the Mountains 



I. — Settling a Colony ..... 309 

II. — Sketches of Karen Character . 318 

III.— The "King of Tounghoo" . . . .334 

IV. — Karen Soldiers ...... 345 

V. — Conclusion — Deductions — the Fast of the Karen 

Nation ... ... 359 




When a child eleven years old, my mother always 
gave me one hour a day for my own time. This was 
invariably spent by the side of a wild mountain brook, 
that came tumbling and dancing down through a grove 
of birch-trees. It was a most companionable little 
stream, clear as crystal, full of smooth white pebbles and 
little speckled trout. 

My brother fitted me up a small leafy alcove, carpeted 
with scarlet lichens, close down to the margin, with my 
pet flowers, the wild violet and the forget-me-not, all 
around, and close by, a patch of those bright red winter- 
oreen berries that all New England children know. 
There the old family Bible was daily spread open at 
Solomon's Prayer. There, too, the woods often echoed 
with the " Sweet Bower of Prayer," while I dug 
gold thread and made little golden skeins for baby 

There, with the brook and the trout, I planned many 

* The fibrous yellow roots of the three-leaved Hellebore, which 
New England school children delight in. 



a castle, which then seemed as much beyond my grasp 
as the moon ; yet, somehow or other, almost every plan 
has been realized. The reason may have been, that 
every castle had a Bible and a Bower of Prayer. 

I don't know why I liked Solomon's Prayer so much 
better than Agur's ; but young Solomon, the brave 
Daniel, the good Samaritan, and the poor Publican, were 
my favourites among Bible men ; with Deborah and 
Mary Magdalen among the women. There were other 
companions too. These were the letters of Ann H. 
Judson and Harriet Newel ; and often did I turn the 
old brown and yellow birches into Burmese and Hindu 
girls. Many a time have I talked till tears came to 
these imaginary heathen women, and then sung to them 
ever so much more. 

I loved my Bible, and I loved nature. It seemed a 
great deal easier to pray out in a grove among the 
mountains. I never wondered that Jesus went on to 
the mountain to pray, or that Daniel kept his window 

Even the great giant-looking larches of Canada had 
a charm. They were real old Samsons, or Knights 
Templars, all in their armour, as they lay so stiff, and 
black, and awful, in the moonbeams, on the crusted 

One time they were indeed awful to me. " Elder 
Huntley," as everybody called my father,* was for more 
than forty years a " Gospel Banger " among the hills of 
Vermont, New Hampshire, and Canada ; and as soon as 

* Leland Huntley. 


I was old enough, he took me into his cariole with him. 
One time he had been out to hold a " Protracted Meet- 
ing" in Lower Canada. We were returning; home at 
midnight, through a tamarack swamp, winding leisurely 
along the well-trodden wood road, my father thinking 
of his sermons, and I covered head and eyes in the buf- 
falo skins. Suddenly a strange sound : " Crazy Jane " 
pricks up her ears. Again, faint, low, fearful. Instantly 
Crazy Jane gave a bound that almost broke the traces. 
My father heard it, and, with an anxious look at me, he 
gave the startled creature the reins, when she flew over 
the road as if chased by lightning. On came the boding 
sound, nearer, nearer, clearer, clearer. A murmuring as 
of many waters, a clear bark, a tremendous howl of a 
whole pack of wolves ! " Oh, God, save papa ! Oh, 
God, I will, I wall go ! " This was the earnest cry of 
the moment, for I had no doubt but God was calling me 
to work for the heathen ; yet deep and painful had been 
the inward struggle, even at that early age, and I had 
always answered, " I cannot leave mamma." 

Crazy Jane had just time to leap into the open village 
when the hungry wolves appeared on the skirts of the 
forest, thanks to the Hearer of prayer. 

" Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver 
thee." This was the promise that came to me as I 
nestled in the buffalo skins. 

When but nine years old, there seemed to be some 
propelling power ever pushing me on to Burmah. " Get 
ready, I will call for thee," was for ever whispered in the 
air. How I should get ready, was the difficult question. 

b 2 


My father was a poor Baptist Minister ; he could not 
help me. He loved the cause of missions ; hut he was 
poor, for he gave all his time and talents for others ; 
and so did my faithful, self-denying, and beautiful 

The first effort toward my undertaking was made in 
flowering oil-cloths, by which I bought myself a gram- 
mar, when thirteen years old. I had never had any 
school books but a spelling book and "English Reader ;" 
but I had read, and thought, more than many children. 
I borrowed a geography, and studied it open in the 
window, while I rinsed the cups and saucers, standing 
upon a stool beside the table. " Milton's Paradise Lost," 
"Young's Night Thoughts," " Pollok's Course of Time," 
" Thomson's Seasons," these were among the graver 
books that had charmed me till midnight over my pine 
torches — I could not afford candles — so my brother, 
dear, kind little fellow that he was, would, every few 
days, lay before me a votive offering of pitch pine-knots 
from the plains ; and it was by the light of these that I 
read two thick volumes of moral philosophy, and studied 
the fragments of a copy of Josephus, found on the shelf 
of some old book store. After securing the grammar, I 
obtained permission to leave home for a few months, as 
companion to a doctor's wife. It was one evening while 
with her, that I found a large volume of the " Arabian 
Nights " in my bed-room. I had never seen it before, 
and, of course, strained my eager eyes over it till the 
long candle was burned to the socket. The next night 
the " Arabian Nights " was gone, and a Missionary 


Magazine lay there. I took it up, a little vexed to lose 
the stories ; opened it, and the first thing that struck 
me was the " Journal of Francis Mason." 

Next Saturday night I said, " Papa, I must go to 
Burmah." I had often spoken of going, but my father 
had never believed me serious, and always called it 
" El's wild scheme." Now he looked at me with the 
deepest earnestness of his grave eye, and uttered not a 
word. From that time he never opposed, never ridi- 
culed ; and my mother — my dear, fond mother — expected 
me to go some time. 

It was very near where the Fairfax Literary Institu- 
tion now stands that I first read that journal which 
threw a spell, a strange, drawing spell, over all my future. 

With the money the doctor's wife gave for my little 
services, my bill was paid at a select school, where I 
made my first attempt at model letter-writing. I re- 
member it perfectly, the old yellow page ruled down the 
side, leaving an inch maro;in, and be<nnnino\ as all 
models did, " I take my pen in hand," &c. I can see 
her now, that tall, straight schoolma'am, so shocked 
when I said, "Oh, Miss Sage, I can never get this 
right ; please let me write my mother a real letter." 

I wanted to tell her I had got her a new cap ribbon. 
It was the first thing I had ever earned for her with my 
own hands, and I was all on tip-toe to show her what I 
thought the daintiest little ribbon in the world. Miss 
Sage bade me write my copy, and learn propriety — a 
thing I have been trying to learn ever since. 

I can't tell you, reader, half the things about getting 


ready, graved in burning lines upon my own memory, 
but if you will glance at two or three dissolving views, 
they will fling a few faint lights over the shadowy past. 
I speak of these persona! Bcenes only to show you that 
God does honour trust and works, and allows our best 
hopes to be realized. 

Making way through drifted snows, boys shoveling 
the road, a young girl has prepared breakfast for five 
little brothers and sisters, has dressed them, put the 
house in order, and is on her way to the school-room, 
where she has a charge of some forty children, young 
men and young women. Her father and mother are on 
a mission to the Isles of Lake Champlain, and are ice- 
bound. They cannot know the load on their daughter's 
heart ; they could not reach her tf they did. She is 
sixteen years old — is striving for Burmah. 

" Ye shall reap if 'ye faint not'' 

It was among the lumber' 34 ' men on Lake Champlain, 
close upon the romantic waters of Lake George, over 
which I have glided for hours in a little log boat, steered 
by lumber women, catching the yellow perch and trout 
which we could see through the lake clear to the bottom. 
It was a missionary undertaking, for they had no church, 
no tract visitors, no school of any kind within many 
miles. It was Sunday. I had called on all the mothers, 
and now they came dropping in, leading their little ones. 

* "Lumber: in America, timber sawed or split for use." — 


The room was fragrant with flowers, and Bible-pictures 
hung on the wall. We had just sung — 

" There is a land of pure delight." 

Who is that ? A fine-looking man, the superinten- 
dent of the colony, appears, steps to the open door. 
"Miss Huntley, may — may we come in?" and eight or 
ten strong-souled men in their checked shirts are waiting 
admittance. A stammering " Yes, if you '11 help us," 
was given, and I am sure no one can tell, but the angels, 
what delightful Bible readings we there enjoyed, amidst 
the log cabins, partitioned only with blankets, glazed 
with paper, and made habitable by huge altar-like pillars 
of stone in the middle for chimneys. 

What is the matter ? why does the young girl tremble 

" Children, you may go home." And she sits an hour, 
helpless, shaking with ague, then recovers and creeps 
home. The next day tries again ; but every other day 
these honors return ; so for two years she struggles on ; 
thin, pale, weak, suffering as only one can suffer with 
the terrible lake fever and ague. It is the effect of the 
miasma of the lumber region. 

At last the goal is reached, — a female seminary where 
she may quench her burning thirst for knowledge. 

Months pass : " Miss S ," she asks, one morning, 

in faltering tones, " may I go home ? I have no more 
money, and I can't bear to give up now when the term 
is so near over." She had been living three months on 
a trifle over five dollars, boarding herself. 


" Why do you go home V 

" I have a dear brother ; possibly he may help me." 

" How are you going?" 

" On foot." 

"On foot! How far is it?" 

" Twelve miles !" 

" Twelve miles ! Why, child, you can't travel twelve 
miles. You 'd better send for your brother." 

" He cannot come. Only say I may go." 

A reluctant consent is given. The young girl starts 

She draws her belt very tight, for she is hungry. She 
has tasted no supper, no breakfast ; scarcely anything 
for a whole week but a loaf of bread. Not a cent is 
left ; but she cannot beg. 

" Good morning, Ellen. Come back soon/' says her 

" Good morning, Miss S ." When you are hun- 
gry, may God feed you, she prays inwardly, and departs. 

Longer and longer seems that weary way. Now up a 
steep, hard hill, now stretching like a narrow line away 
over the plains. She comes to a river; the bridge is 
gone ; she enters in, is carried down, struggles, reaches 
the bank, walks on, comes to another, fords it. 

What is the matter ? She cannot see ; everything 
swims ; she falls, revives, and creeps up on to the steps 
of an old church — prays for strength, prays for Burmah. 

At ten o'clock she sees the light glimmering from her 
mother's window, falls upon the steps, returns to con- 
sciousness, is lying in her own little room. Her tender 


mother is charing her brows, the big tears chasing each 

other down silently, while little hands are holding cups 

of hot tea and gruel, murmuring out, — 
" Sissy not die. God takes care of sister." 
" For I say unto you, that their angels do always 

behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." 

There are other scenes behind. Higher and higher 
swell the waters, keener and keener grows the anguish ; 
but purer the longings, sweeter the peace. 

See you that young girl's eye ? Mark you the pent- 
up agony ? She holds a newspaper ; the superscription is 
her lover's ; she knows there are burning words within 
that wrapper. The spirit longs, thirsts for their sweet 
sympathy, for she is a stranger in a strange circle. 

" Must I leave it?" she asks herself, pressing her 
temples. Yes, her purse is empty, utterly empty. Those 
rainbowed, precious words must go to the dead-letter 
office. She lays it back — that dear, dear handwriting — 
that radiant hand. She turns and leaves it there, 
crushing down agony for heathen women. 

What hand that upon the burning brow ? A letter. 
It opens. Out falls a bank bill— the most beautiful, 
shining bank bill ever made. Who sent it ? The Angel 
of the Lord sent it. By whom ? Ask the loved teacher, 
now Mrs. Nott, of Schenectady, and her Persis-like sister, 
Miss C. Sheldon, of Philadelphia. The Lord told them 
to send it. May He tell somebody to send them beautiful 
bank bills if they ever need them ! 


Another scene. A school group — but not a white 
group. There are mountains, but not the old green 
mountains. There are trees, but not the birches, the 
beeches, the spruces of her childhood. There are flowers, 
but not the daisies and honeysuckles of her fatherland. 
Her pupils are black-eyed, bronze-coloured girls, boys, 
men, and women. The trees are the light bamboos arching 
over them, and each mountain has a spire, a tall beacon 
spire all alone — it is a Buddhist pagoda, and that land 
is Burmah. 

When I first stepped upon the shore of India, it was 
at Maulmain. The Bev. Dr. Judson kindly met our 
large party at the quay, and, giving me his arm, led me 
through a long line of native Christians to his own door. 
My own emotions on reaching a heathen land were per- 
fectly overpowering. I could not speak. 1 could do 
nothing but weep. 

It was the remembrance of my childish yearnings, 
and of God's infinite goodness, that so overpowered me on 
reaching a pagan land. The letters, the journal, the 
old family Bible, the "gold thread," the wee sisters' eyes, 
all came back with the last, last kisses of a home, and 
the deep love of the tenderest of mothers that I was 
never to see again. Then I heard those strange old 
household names, Mah, Dokes, Menlas, and a host of 
others, all verily living beings before me ! Dr. Judson's 
princely brow too ! Was 1 indeed in the body or out of 

It was truly a strange linking of circumstances, that 
the writings of Dr. Judson's wife should first have stirred 


my soul for Burmah, and then that his lips should have 
been the first to greet me, and his arm the first offered 
me to lean upon. It was strange that Mr. Mason 
should have united him with his loved Sarah, and then 
that Dr. Judson should have performed the same service 
for us at a day long after this. I had been married to 
Mr. Bullard some time before I left America. 

Heat, bilge-water, destitution of milk, and of every 
comfort for my babe, in the six-foot cabin of a merchant 
ship for nearly five long months, had induced extreme 
weakness and inflammation in my eyes. 

It was during these weeks of intense suffering, just 
after reaching Burmah, that I learned the real kind- 
heartedness and self-forgetting spirit of Dr. Judson. 
Full of anxious desire to speak to the women, it was 
hard to do nothing ! I had not then learned to wait as 
now. Dr. Judson saw it, and seemed to give me a 
special corner in his warrn heart, for after we left 
his house, which he would not allow for many days, 
about two o'clock daily I would hear his military-like 
step, and feel the sympathizing grasp of his dear hand 
as he drew me down beside him, and made me forget 
past sufferings and present agony in his inimitable man- 
ner, language, and stories. With him I lived over the 
whole past history of the mission, and much of its hidden 

One day he was telling me of a lady who always 
greeted the native women with, " ' Ma-a-lah — H-o-w- 
d-ye?' drawing it," he said, "clear across the room 
in her everlasting rocking chair." Another spent nearly 


her whole time in making pills, smelling bottles, and 
plasters for the natives! "What wonder," he would 
ask, " that both gave up and went home ?" 

The proper medium line between indifference and un- 
due anxiety in regard to the physical wants of the 
heathen, — this was what Dr. Judson was endeavouring 
to impress upon me, and what he never lost sight of. I 
loved him ever after as my own father, for it was no 
small stlf denial for a man of Lis experience and hia duties 
to lay all aside and sit down daily to instruct an inex- 
perienced Missionary woman. His exquisite tact, too, won 
my most profound reverence, while his gay good humour 
taught me the secret uf g.x.d health in Burmah. 

It was seventeen year- ago that I sat there the won- 
dering pupil of Adoniram Judson. Alas, the changes ! 
Then Sarah B. Judson was there, always so gentle and 
loving in her pretty pink or white wrapper, and often 
she would call me to accompany her when she took aside 
the native Christians to settle their petty difficulties in 
her prayer room. Then Fanny Forrester was struggling 
upward in Utica. My husband, Mr. Bullard, was with 
us, and Mr. Mason was with his little Maria and her 
mother in Tavoy. 

Now, where are we all ? What a changing, painful 
drama ! Dr. Judson's Sarah on the rock of the sea, 
himself in his ocean coffin ; his Emily triumphant over 
her sharp mission conflict ; sweet Maria and her loved 
mamma passed into heaven ; Mr. Mason in a region then 
unexplored, translating the Bible into a language then 
unknown ; Little " Enna " Judson, who used to come 


in to rock " Baby Ella," now proclaiming the Gospel for 
his father ; Baby Ella wandering over half the globe, a 
teacher to heathen women ; while her adored father, 
who would have given his life for either of us, is calmly 
sleeping by the Salwen,* and I struggle on amidst in- 
numerable hindrances for the same great work for which 
Anna H. Judson died, viz., the establishment of Woman's 
Mission in Heathen Lands. 

* Mr. I3ullard died at Maulmain, April 5th, 1847. 




"The Golden Waters! The Golden Waters !" all 
exclaimed in raptures, as the good ship Charles swept 
round into the Gulf of Martaban, and along its semi- 
circled shore of wild adventure and Christian toil. Four 
sun-lit streams roll their waters into this lovely scallop 
of the ocean. First, on the right, comes pouring the 
noble Salwen, with the city of Martaban on one side, and 
Maulmain on the other. Farther round, the Sittang, 
with the city of Sittang ; then Pegu, with its antique 
ruins ; and still beyond the Irrawaddy, with the cities of 
Rangoon and Bassein. 

The first city of importance on this coast is Ran. 
— Lord Dalhousie's enchanted garden — which, under 
Coi. Phayre, is rapidly becoming one indeed. It resem- 
bles the modern portion of New York. I did not learn 
the number of streets, but saw one marked, I think, the 
fifty- third. The principal streets are parallel with each 
other, very broad, and nicely macadamized. Along these. 
in the business part of the town, stucco buildings are 
rapidly running up in simple Grecian style, with flat 
roofs and # Ionic pillars. The officers and civilians erect 


beautiful teak bungalows in the environs, surrounded by 
tall forest trees. 

To the north there is a romantic drive through a wide 
tract of woodland, out to old Kemendine. There the 
numerous clusters of snowy tents whitening the land- 
scape, with the broad Irrawaddy pouring its silver spouts 
around, make it truly, to the artist's eye, enchanted 
ground. This drive to Kemendine also leads to what is 
intended to become the Binney College, just founded by 
three benevolent gentlemen in Philadelphia, Wm. Buck- 
nell, Esq., W. C. Mackintosh, Esq., and David Jayne, 
M.D. Mr. Bucknell invited Dr. Binney to undertake 
this enterprise, and he with the other two have ever 
since sent him a personal support of 1,200 dollars, or 
i?250, per annum. This is nobly done, and now, if the 
founders go on, endow the college and make it perma- 
nent, it will be an honour to the denomination, an 
honour to their country, and an inestimable blessing to the 
Karen tribes through all time. Both Dr. and Mrs. Binney 
possess a magic power over their pupils. There is also a 
Theological School in the same buildings, all under the 
patronage of the American Baptist Missionary Union. 

There are two other schools of importance at this 
station, a Preparatory English and Vernacular School, 
aided much by Government, under Mrs. Vinton, a lady 
who has prepared many valuable books in Karen, and 
whose hymns will be chanted over the Karen hills when 
she shall be harping with the harpers. Another Normal 
School is in charge of the Rev. D. L. Brayton. This is 
for the Pwo Karens. It is taught in the vernacular, and 

16 missionaries' children. 

is dependent upon voluntary aid for support. Both Mr. 
and Mrs. Brayton, and their daughter, Mrs. Rose, are 
teachers of long experience, and their school really merits 
sympathy and support. 

Not far from this station is a most hopeful mission 
under Mrs. Ingalls, widow of the late Rev. Lovell In- 
galls. This is a mission to the Burmese as well as to 
the Karens, and the very remarkable success of our lone 
friend proves that woman's sympathy, patience, and quiet 
perseverance may tell more upon the hearts of heathen 
men than even public preaching. Mrs. Knap, also a 
widow lady there, is another of our silent coral workers. 
This friend greatly aided Mrs. Brandis, sister of Lady 
Havelock, in establishing the Burmah Female School 
Society, and a day school for girls in Rangoon.* 

Seven children of the Burman Missionaries have en- 
tered upon the same service. How cheering it is to see 
a mission receiving back its own sons and daughters to 
stay up the hands of their parents ! May the time come 
when it will be understood that this is the duty of Mis- 
sionaries' children, rather than to seek ease and civilized 

* Messrs. Stevens and Dawson are in charge of the Burman De- 
partment of Rangoon, and Mr. Vinton, son of the late Missionary 
Vinton, is a preacher in the Karen Department. Doctor and Mrs. 
Wade are the oldest Missionaries on the coast. They are at Maul- 
main, working on with all their rich experience as earnestly as ever, 
with Messrs. Bennett and Has well, and J. Haswell, Jr. 

There are also American Missionaries on all these rivers, except 
Pegu : Messrs. Kincaid and Simons at Prome, Messrs. Thomas and 
Crawley at Henthada, Messrs. Beecher and Vanmeter at Bassein, Mr. 
Harris at Shwagyn, and Messrs. Mason, Cross, and Bixby, at Tounghoo. 


comforts for themselves, while their fathers and mothers 
faint under their burdens alone. 

In all, there are on the Burmah coast twenty-two 
American Missionary families, with about four hundred 
and fifty native preachers and schoolmasters, and some 
twenty-six thousand baptized converts. Of these, about 
five hundred and fifty are Burmese and Takings, and 
twenty-two of them are preachers ; the others are mostly 
Karens. The population of Rangoon is about thirty 

Now, reader, would you believe these Pegu waters and 
lands to be the veritable Ophir of the Ancients, and the 
real old Byssinga of the Alexandrian geographers ? My 
word-loving husband says so, and you will find some 
pretty strong proof of it in his book on Burmah. 

I can almost see the strange old Phoenician craft and 
banner floating still before me ; King Solomon's boys 
chasing each other over the ridges after peacocks for 
Queen Belkis, and King Hiram's sailors plying up the 
rivers for Almug-trees. Yes, truly, I have to look round 
to see if these old Tyrians are not now washing out the 
gold for the basins, the tongs, and the pomegranates. 
Who knows but the Tyrian king did send a colony over 
to these rivers ? The Talaings look enough like the old 
Theban mummies to be their brothers. I saw mummy 
heads from Thebes in the Academy of Natural Sciences 
in Philadelphia, that in form were as near as possible 
like Talaings. They are known to be the oldest race on 
this coast, and Dr. Mason thinks them related to the 
Koles of Hindustan by their language. Evidently their 



first simple faith was rock-worship, like that of the 
Koles, the Santals of India, the ancient Peruvians, who 
set up an emerald as a goddess, and the Arabs. 

Going over the mountains once, near Siam, we were 
passing a cairn like those of the Highland Scots, when I 
noticed that every Taking with me stopped and threw a 
stone on to the pile. 

" What is that for V I asked. 

" Oh, nothing. A spirit lives here." This was all 
the explanation. 

If it takes as long to Christianize Burmah as it did 
to turn it to Buddhism, it will be a task for the millen- 
nium. Twelve hundred years they had to work, accord- 
ing to their account, before Buddhism became the national 
religion of Burmah. 

But for real enchanted ground we must go over to 
Maulmain. Here pagodas ! pagodas ! shooting up on 
every mountain peak, from twenty to three hundred and 
sixty feet high, like colonnades of gold, in burning, pris- 
matic radiancy. And such foundations ! Terrace upon 
terrace. The highest plateau is eight hundred feet in 
circumference, and the lower more than one thousand 
eight hundred feet, tapering up so like old Belis' feet. 
Perchance some Layard may yet join them into inter- 
national links. But just to think how tired these strict 
religionists must be to climb such long flights of steps to 
church — five hundred, seven hundred, and nine hundred 
steps ! The pagoda of the Aing Pass is said to have 
nine hundred and seventy stone steps. 

Some of the pagodas are walled, others not. One in 


Paghan was barricaded with a wall upheld by stuccoed 
elephants, after the style of that vestige of a ruin 
called the " Diamond Gate " in western India, indi- 
cating a relationship between the architects of the two 

There are two kinds of pagodas. The common one is 
a sacred structure ; it is octagonal, and built of solid 
masonry, with a small gold or silver god and charmed 
scroll morticed up within. The other is a monument in 
honour of some prince. This is arched, generally of a 
quadrangular form, with four gateways, a dome in the 
centre, and vaulted galleries running round the interior. 
Syms tells of the ruins of a pagoda of the latter descrip- 
tion in the northern part of Burmah, with walls and aisles 
of eighty feet in height. There is a .smaller one in 
Tounghoo, which, it is said, contains a royal urn ; but 
the royal god that graced the dome now sits in the 
Hartford Museum in Connecticut. 

Look upon one of these illuminated zadees, as I have 
done, at evening. Listen to the soft breathing of the 
wind-bells on the tee, the umbrella of the top ; think of 
the mysterious scroll, the hidden god, the enchanted 
hieroglyphics. Watch the lights and shadows of the 
burnished spire, glimmering and mingling with those of 
the vaulted aisles, which come flashing out upon the 
glaring enamelled eyes of griffins and lions, lighting up 
the many-coloured scales of serpents and dragons, then 
vanishing in gloom, as the winds rush through the cor- 
ridors, and you will not wonder that the natives are awed 
by the strange, dreamy effect. 

c 2 


Directly over Dr. Judson's house in Maulmain was 
Mount Rama. This is the Pali name for Maulmain, 
and the mountain is a lovely undulating line of slate and 
sandstone, which divides the old and new town. On a 
plateau, many hundred feet in circumference, rises Payah 
Pu, the principal pagoda of Maulmain. Opening up to 
this are four gateways, fifteen feet in width, guarded by 
huge lions with enormous glass eyes. 

Upon the north stands a Tomb temple, with an image 
of Gaudama. It is crowned with Mosaic work represent- 
ing an antique tiara or royal horn of magnificent eme- 
ralds. His god-ship is lying upon a Mosaic catafalque, 
his head resting upon twelve Mosaic pillows, over a large 
lotus, held as sacred here as in Egypt. Around him six 
crowned apostles, twelve feet high, standing on elevated 
pedestals, like so many stylites all in gold, with the right 
hand laid reverently upon the breast. Peering over the 
feet is the sacred hydra, with its dilated hood, while the 
immense coil of the serpent, glistening with enamelled 
scales, serves as a pedestal for one of the statues. 

In a niche at the entrance of this temple is a female 
figure, in a sitting posture, and, Eve-like, covering her 
person with her long black tresses. 

Just under the shadow of the cliff stands another tem- 
ple, with the Foot of Gaudama, which everybody knows. 

The roof of this foot-shrine is a perfect forest of pin- 
nacles, while over the low oriental portal stand two 
supernatural warders, with terribly large searching eyes. 
The vaulted ceiling has a representation of the zodiac, 
which struck me as very like the pictures I had seen of 


Dendera. The roof and cornices are, like the old Greek 
temples, adorned with tracery and vermillion, and the 
low pedestals are modelled into lilies, some of them let- 
tered with the donors' names. 

I have seen in a temple of Tavoy an oriental tableau 
of Gaudama, previous to his becoming a god. He is 
represented as prostrate on the ground, humbling himself 
into a flag stone, while Dobindea, the former Buddh, 
with his troop of begging boys, is walking over him. 
This act of deep humility was one of the principal deeds 
of merit that secured to him his divinity. There is 
another temple there, shaped precisely like the famed 
" Paradise" of Western India, and containing a statue 
of the last Buddh Dobindea. 

Go up on to this plateau. A poem, a very poem, you 
exclaim at once, made up of natural stanzas, with the 
music all set. First comes Martaban, with the lofty 
Zingabat mountains, the classic vale of Thadung, the 
Dong Yahn fortress looming over its mourning river, 
wide forests and savannas, and the temple mountain of 
Damathat, shooting up in natural Gothic. Then come 
the Atteran, the Salwen, the Gayng, linking among the 
cliffs, and silvering the prairies ; far- stretching Thanee, 
all buried in half-tints ; while Maulmain lies in the 
foreground, forcing its way up the hills, amid groves of 
palms, cocoa-nuts, bananas, tamarinds, mangoes, citrons, 
papayas, and pumpalows ; and each face of the mountain 
is alive with convents, temples, pillars, turrets, altars, 
idols, and pagodaettes, as if multiplied by a Lysippus 
hand, bristling; among ever-blooming avenues. Here 


and there, also, rises a guardian group of statues, or the 
hideous Belu, who, history states, were Gaudama's body- 
guard ; and one can believe it, for they are for ever pre- 
sent — the real Scandinavian Mernining, or the Beer- 
seeker of the Scalds. Everywhere winding up the 
mountain, are trains of priests, with their bald pat 
tonsures, with here and there a priestess, in her floating 
white mantle, counting her rosary, gliding in at some 
monastery, or half concealing herself behind the lemon- 

It was the festival of the New Year, and the Pagoda 
Bath Day, which interested me particularly. Tin- fes- 
tival occurs annually, like the Grecian days for bathing 
the statues of Minerva. 

The young men were clad in their long silk pal 
girded up over their tattoo-imitation pantalooi - 
thrown gracefully over the shoulder, while their bug 
hair, black and glossy, was neatly braided with white 
muslin fillets so as to pass for the eagle-plumed bonnet, 
and with their scarlet sandals, they seemed to look upon 
themselves as perfectly irresistible. 

Each carried two small jars of clear water nicely covered 
with fresh plantain leaves, on which lay a small silver 
goblet. A curious sight it was to see the whole city, 
men, women, and children, doing battle with the fierce 
ardor of Trojans, and all with the same dashing weapon 
— cold water. The young women, I believe, had come 
off conquerors, and taken the young men prisoners, who 
were compelled into the service of the gods ; and while 
they carried water, the maidens bore a web of sacred 


cloth, extending a quarter of a mile in length, like a 
line of golden cloud. They were going to drape the 
large pagoda, or give Payah Pu a new turban. 

At night the whole city was magnificently illuminated. 
The great Pagoda was encircled with rings of little festal 
lamps from the base almost to the summit. Mount 
Rama was covered with colonnades of lights, every street 
bordered with flame, and illuminated arches rose before 
every door — for the same reason that the ancient Britons 
made bonfires on New Year's Day, to drive away evil 
spirits, as the Jews, Sabians, Vestals of Rome, and other 
nations have done. 

These decorations continue fifteen days ; but the 
grandest illumination follows the regattas in October, 
after the ninety days' Lent. Then, soon after sunset, 
cannons fire, serpents run through the air, coloured lan- 
terns are wafted overhead, while innumerable tongues of 
flame are floated on bits of plantain stems down the 
rivers, quite covering their surface from China to the 
Indian Ocean, offerings to Shen Oboogoke, the Neptune 
of Burmah. It is doubtful if the old god received any 
grander honours from classic Athenians than the Tala- 
injrs and Burmans rive him here on their illuminated 

Sometimes there comes sailing down a little pagoda 
fancifully lit up, constructed of delicate wicker-work ; 
and once I saw passing, on the Sittang river, a sitting 
Gaudama, braided in the same manner, like the old 
wicker deities of the Druids, of life size or larger, with a 
beautiful tiara imitative of coloured gems, and holding 


in his hand a wicker rice-pot, which shone in the dim- 
ness like a great bowl of gold. 

Shen Oboogoke is said to dwell in a leaden palace 
under the sea. He receives special homage from the 
Burmese and Takings ; and their sailors, when embark- 
ing on a voyage, offer him a turtle. So, one season in 
a time of drought in Tavoy, he was honoured with a 
fountain and a pair of leaden fishes, at the side of the 
court-house, where the people poured water daily, and 
offered prayers for rain, sending up showers of cotton 

This grand water-festival is closed with entertain- 
ments and music, when the wild, varied harmony of 
their numerous instruments is blended with the crying, 
thrilling kyzoup, with the glee-maidens clapping their 
castanets; the screaming of the minstrels, the shrieking 
of the trumpets, and the pounding of the drums, all 
mingled in one tremendous detonation. 

The Burmese call music the language of the gods, but 
from the bubbling, shrieking, crashing sounds of their fes- 
tivals, one would suppose it must be the language of the 
Dii Inferni ; yet there are passages in their softer airs 
melodious, pathetic, and subduing. 

The Burmah maidens were certainly attractive on this 
festival day, flitting amid festooned arches. Their grace- 
ful forms were set off by yellow silk robes of circling 
stripes, with crimson cinctures and black lace jackets 
fitting close to the bust, with rose satin scarves, and 
exquisitely- wrought gold chains ; just such, according 
to antiquarians, as were once worn by the honourable 

the infant's song. 25 

women of the British Isles in the days of the Druids. 
They also wore gold ear knobs, bracelets, and bangles, 
brocaded sandals, and their coal-black hair wreathed 
with golden champac, rose-buds, or the delicate rnimusops. 
Altogether they presented a most picturesque tableau 
vivant. Many had made free use of cosmetics, and 
were chalk-white ; others would rival the purest bronze 
antiques, while in the fine chiseling of their features 
some of them would lose little beside the classic models 
of Greece. 

It was in passing down from Mount Rama that I met 
a coffin — a very little coffin — followed by a Christian 
mother. Beyond were a group of heathen women also 
burying an infant. I could but contrast the emotions 
of the two mothers, the one believing her little one for 
ever wandering in unrest, lost in dismal swamps, tired 
and hungry, while the Christian mother could look up to 
the pure blue sky. I could but ask, Who hath made them 
to differ ? But thought followed the little spirits up- 
ward, until there fell these low, tremulous murmurings 
from the Infant Paradise. It was long before I could 
catch the song, for it came only in snatches of the 
faintest trillings upon the air. 


What beautiful music is waving along ! 
It trances my senses, it bathes me in song ; 
Now around me, now o'er me, again and again, 
Does its low rolling cadence steal over the plain. 

26 the infant's song. 

Is this the sweet tuning of seraphs who sing 

While crowns are fast shower d at the feet of their King ? 

Is this, mother, that heaven afar in the skies, 

Where so oftentimes turn'd were your sweet, loving eyes ? 

Yes, yes, this is heaven I've enter'd to-day, 

For the angels are singing wherever I stray ; 

It was only this morning I found I had wings, 

5 • t I've seen, oh I've seen, ma, such wonderful things ! 

My soul, when unfetter' d from that little clay 
That now you are laying so gently away, 
Oh, how it expanded ! what Bpeech b»> I knew 
As with gladness and wonder far upward I flew ! 

5 ching the deep azure sky, 

A i onvoy of spirits appear' d from on high ; 
And " Hail, little hrother!" cried one \< ry bright, 
As, embracing, he veil'd me in robes of pure white. 

'Twas Calla, dear Calla, 'mid that smiling band, 
With a wreath on his brow, and a harp in his hand : 
Oh, that you, mother dear, could have seen hi* bright 
Look down on me so loving, like stars in the skies ! 

Quick speeding me onward, said he, " Come, behold, 
High floating in blue, the great City of Gold, 
With its walls of pure jasper, and all precious stones, 
That around it lie blazing in radiant zones. 

"And a throne of pure sapphire, on which sits above 
The adorable Saviour, all shining in love ; 
Yet with manner more regal than mightiest king, 
And oh, how the rainbows around Him do spring ! " 

Then open'd the portals, and up to the throne 
The good angels bare me — I was not alone — 
And He spake to me kindly, and welcomed me home, 
Saying, " Yes, little spirit, yes, yes, you may come." 

the infant's song. 27 

Now peal'd from the harpers a triumphing strain, 
" All worthy the Lamb who for sinners was slain ! " 
And now it rose softly from newly-born powers, 
On a mount ever blooming, o'erwoven with flowers. 

sweet, they have told me, earth's murmuring shades, 
And pure the still waters that silver its glades ; 

Yet sweeter, far sweeter, these blest spirits say, 
Are the zephyrs and* streamlets here warbling away. 

But hark ! mother, heard you the little ones' feet ? 

'Tis the Saviour ! the Saviour ! they 're running to meet ; 

1 '11 go, then, and wait for you, sweet mother dear ! 
And you '11 come very cpuck, we 're so happy up here ! 




Looking from Mount Rama toward the north, we see 
shooting up a limestone peak, called by the English the 
Duke of York's Nose. I don't know how it came by 
this strange title, hut the Talaings have not given it a 
better. They named it Zwagabang — the Boat Mooring, 
and tell tales of a time when the waters came up over 
that peak ; that there was just one boat seen on the 
waters, and when they began to go down, the sailors tied 
it up there to this great nose. 

This mountain is in Dong Yahn, on the Salwen river, 
twenty-five miles north of Maulmain, a place which 
became our home for four years. The country round is 
the Canaan of Pegu, one of the richest rice-growing 
valleys in Burmah, full of fruit-trees, encircled by charm- 
ing hills, and covering a large extent of territory. 

It was under the high rock-fortress of Don<r Yahn 
that I took a sketch of Guapung, a noble Karen woman, 
a descendant of one of the Pwo princes who had invaded 
this region ; she had an interesting niece, who bore, 
however, the frightful name " Halter." Halter's mother 
was taken captive by the Siamese in a skirmish which 

A STOKY. 29 

took place, about the year 1811, between them and the 
people of Khan Koming, when the enemy carried nearly 
all into captivity. Her mother was corded by the neck 
to another woman, as all the rest were, two and two ; 
their hands bound behind them, and the poor prisoners 
goaded on without mercy. Seeing that this woman could 
not possibly proceed, they left her upon the road, where, 
a few minutes after, the infant Halter was born, and so 
named to commemorate the dreadful scene. The little 
brother, an only son, the mother beheld pricked on 
by the robbers, the poor little fellow frantic with grief 
and terror. She never saw him again. Indeed, there 
was no end to the sufferings of these poor Karens, who 
were always hunted by the Burmese, Talaings, and 
Siamese, until the English, whom they call the " Sons 
of God/' gave them peace and protection. 

There is a stirring tale connected with this wild home 
of ours in the wilderness. 

One day Guapung was in a shanty by the Salwen 
river, when she saw a " Flying Ship" come up the river. 
It was about the year 1827. She ran down to see the 
" Flying Ship," when a tall, handsome, white foreigner 
stepped on shore, and, coming right up to her, extended 
his hand, asking in Burmese if she was well. 

" Ma, th'kyen — well, my lord," — she replied with 
native grace. The stranger had only time to ask after 
her business, and say, " Go in peace," when he returned 
to the Flying Ship, and she stood gazing after him in 
mute amazement. 

Soon her brothers came, and she said : — 


" I 've seen one of the sons of God ! " 

" Did he speak ? " 

" Yes, and he gave me his hand." 

" Did you take the hand of a foreigner ? " 

" Yes, for he looked like an Aing" (angel). 

"Would 'Worship- Face' had been here with his 
golden arrow ! " 

" Nay, but I 'm not ashamed," insisted Guapung — 
"Aunt or Lady Pung." The name indicates a notable 
housewife, as she was, and so were all her daughters 
after her. 

The brothers took her home to A Wah — "White 
Patriarch" — the highest chief or king of Dong Yahn. 
He was a heathen, and though he adored his beautiful 
Guapung, his jealousy was aroused, and he beat her, as 
he often did in a fit of drunkenness. That night she 
was called to attend the ceremony of the " Dead Bone 

" No," said this modern Semiramis — for she wae 
indeed, in majestic beauty, with the finest brow and 
richest eyes ever created — " no, ever since I was a child 
I have served Satan and Shen Gaudama, yet they have 
never stopped my husband from beating me once. This 
white man spoke to me kindly, and gave me his hand. 
His God must be The God. Hereafter I worship Him." 
True to her purpose, she began that very night to 
pray to the Unknown God of the white foreigner, and 
this was her prayer : — 

" Great Aing ! Mighty Judge, Father God, Lord' 
God, Uncle or Honourable God, the Righteous One! 


In the heavens, in the earth, in the mountains, in the 
seas, in the north, in the south, in the east, in the west, 
pity me I pray ! Show me thy glory, that I may know 
thee who thou art !" 

This prayer, she told me, she prayed for several years, 
I think five years, never once again making offerings 
to idols or demons. After a long time, another white 
teacher visited her village, when she ran and sat down 
at his feet for nine days. Then a white woman appeared, 
that indefatigable American, Phoebe, Eleanor Macomber, 
whom Guapung hailed as almost divine, and escorted 
her home, as, she said, "their goddess, right from the 
heavens, come to deliver the women of Dong Yahn from 
their oppressive masters;" and indeed she did, under 
God, for the arrack pots were soon cast out, and the 
men, from being a whole village of bacchanalians, became 
a sober, God-fearing people. 

Guapung, with Miss Macomber, was the means of 
raising up in Dong Yahn a flourishing Christian church, 
that became the parent of two other Pwo churches which 
Mr. Bullard organized in that province. All this was 
the result of a little human sympathy towards woman. 
Guapung felt that, in her land, woman was regarded as 
a slave, fit only to bear burdens, and never walk beside 
her husband or brothers ; and this was why the simple 
act of giving the hand left such an indelible impression. 
Verily, this was Dr. Judson's Great Sermon, for it was 
he who gave the hand ; and if his ransomed soul could 
now speak down from the spirit land, would he not say 
to his brethren, " Pity Heathen Women I " 


This Christian body in Dong Yalm was the first to 
build its own chapel, which was once or twice burned by 
the heathen. It was the first to support its own pastor, 
to send forth a Missionary, and the first to sustain a 
schoolmistress; indeed, the only district school reported 
in the Maulmain province for 18(iO has been sustained 
all these years through the perseverance of Guapung. 
This remarkable woman, more than any other person, 
brought about my husband's plan. 

It was the Rev. Edwin Bullard. then in charge of the 
Pwo Karen department of the Maulmain Mission, under 
the American Baptist Missionary Convention, who first 
introduced and established a self-sustaining Ministry 
among the Karens of Burmab, a plan which has already 
saved tie Missionary Union more than a hundred thou- 
sand dollars. 

The recommendation to support their own preachers 
was met by a shower of indignant reproaches, for at that 
time all pastors and preachers were being regularly paid 
by the mission. — in Maulmain, seven rupees the month ; 
in Arracan, Rangoon, and Bassein, the same or more ; 
and in Tavoy four, the lowest of all. 

I well recollect the morning when this subject came 
up. Mr. Bullard had been preaching in Karen a very 
searching sermon on the subject of presenting their 
bodies a living sacrifice. The next morning good old 
Mong Chung came in, saying he could not sleep; he had 
thought all night about the sacrifice. We suggested to 
him that when the churches should come to understand 
that Scripture, they would no longer ask American 


Christians to support their pastors; they would do as 
Christians did in other lands, support their own. 

" Teacher," he said, with a look of extreme mortifica- 
tion, ''Teacher, this would ruin the cause in Dong Yahn. 
The heathen would reproach, and ask if we didn't beg 
just like their priests. Teacher, would you make us 

It was a painful task to convince the old man that it 
would be right even to ask the Christians to support 
their own preachers. He was deeply grieved, and I am 
sure we sat there full two hours arguing the point, Mr. 
Bullard pointing out Scripture which favoured it, he 
reading it in Burmese and trying to turn it differently. 
At last the old patriarch seemed to get some idea of the 
history of the Church, and the sacrifices of Christians 
in America and England. He shut up the book, rose 
very solemnly, as if full of a mighty determination, and 
went out. The next day he and Guapung were all over 
the village, teaching the people their duty concerning a 
self-supporting ministry. It was decided to attempt it 
in Dong Yahn, and that church has ever since supported 
its own pastor, which is now the general practice among 
the Karens of Burmah. My dear husband lived only 
three years on heathen ground, but if he had accomplished 
nothing more than this one thing, this alone was enough 
to compensate for all expense of going, and acquiring 
the language. I will describe some of the scenery amid 
which we then dwelt. 

One morning we had reached the shore of a small still 
lake at the base of a limestone cliff which loomed up 



perpendicularly several hundred feet Here an old I 
man took us into a skiff, and we glided over t" an aper 
ture low and narrow, in the base of a mountain opp 
Onwewent right througk the mountain, when there opened 
out a large rotunda with deep green waters lying ^t ill as 
the Sea of Sodom. Everywhere, above, before, behind, 
the huge black masses of rock rose up in misty, grim, 
aJ forms, just visible by the few Btreaks of light 
shooting in from the distant orifice. Just as we reached 
the middle in awed silence, my consamer or e""k became 
restless, and Dearly ov< rturned as. 

•' 1 '11 lmrl him over. Migi r ! "—indeed I Bhouted our 
old ferryman, leaping up, and darting a Btick of sugar 
cane at the fellow's head. 

Hurl him over, Miger!" thundered the Genii of the 
cavern, as if close upon as, all around and onderneath. 

'• Hurl him over, Miger!" eagerly answered all the 
powers above, and it seemed a- if they were responded 
to by ten thousand behind, and those bj ten thousand 
more, until the whole cavern bellowed it out there in the 
darkness like charging artillery. 

" They'll Bwallow him up," -aid i; man, with 

a wicked laugh. " Swallow him up— hi — hi — hi ! " 
gurgled up ten thousand hoarse voices from the regions 
below. " Swal — swal — low ! hi — hi — hi ! " laughed nut 
all the furies in their upper halls. The poor Malabar, 
half dead with fright, cowered down flat on the bottom 
of the boat, and we paddled <>n in impatient silence, not 
daring to arouse the threatening Genii again. The 
angry Gin abated somewhat their wrath, but still kept 


on grumbling, and even when we had emerged from their 
haunted precincts, we still heard them growling after us, 
" S-w-a-1-l-o-w," and laughing with a malicious glee in 
their dark abodes. Very glad was I to return once more 
to the light of day. 

Next \ve glided round to a cave temple, over slippery 
heights and dismal hollows, with torches and ladders. 
On, on, on ! the dark recesses resounding with ten 

thousand bats rushing, chasing, soaring, chattering, 

until we come to a halt, in a grand, pantheon-like 
chamber, with an arched, columnless portico, sixty feet 
in height. Here a curious, throne-like stalagmite shoots 
up fifteen or twenty feet, quite in the centre, with natu- 
ral steps leading up to the top, as pulpit-like as possible. 
The audience, too, are provided with semi-circular seats, 
one above the other, and the rotunda lighted by an 
aperture right over the pulpit or throne-seat, while the 
roof is jewelled with pendant stalactites, some of them 
clear as crystal. The Takings say Gaudama preached 
here, and consecrated the temple from this quaint, self- 
made pulpit. At any rate, it has been consecrated to 
GOD, for, at the request of the Karens, we called them 
to prayer there, and taking the seats the grotto-Builder 
had made for them, the whole cavern resounded with a 
hymn of praise to the Deity. This was in December, 
1844. After singing, Kowong and Halter spread us a 
pic-nic in an enchanting little oriel under the portico, 
overhung with the greenest ferns and the sweetest air 
plants. Here the consamer fried us little fishes from 
the lake at our feet, roasted us rice in a bamboo joint, 

d 2 


and spread tea on "wild palm leaves. The Karens had 
their repast of sour leaves, red ant nests, and bamboo 
shoots, while Guapung amused us with tales of the 
Genii inhabitants of this cavern. 

Amongst the Karens there are four regular orders of 
ghosts — the Tarataka, Taprai, J ah, and La. The first 
is a terribly malignant genus, the spirits of bad rulers, 
false prophets, and such like. The grasp of this demon 
is certain death, from which no mortal can deliver. 
This is the spirit which the Hindus think lives in the 
tiger, in the lightning, storm, &c. ; the Dearga of the 
Gaels. The dress of the Tarataka is also green, like 
that of the old Dearga of Ben Ledi. The names, too, 
seem to be the same. 

Next to this invisible they fear the Jah, which means 
the same and is the same word as the Saxon Gast, 
English Ghost. These are the restless spirits of drowned 
persons, infants, and all who have perished from conta- 
gious diseases. The Jahs live in the caverns, and, like 
gnomes, under the caverns. They have been denied the 
rites of burial, consequently each 

" Flits to some far uncomfortable coast, 
A naked, wandering, melancholy ghost." 

They are heard, too, in the forest, 

" Faint, like broken spirits crying." 

" Hark ! don't you hear it ?" asked Halter, and that 
moment the gigantic bamboos bowed their tall, hairy 
heads, and wailed out the most ghost-like tones that 
ever came from forestry. The moan of the bamboo is 


more mournful than anything heard in Burrnah, except 
the wailing casuarinas upon the sea-shore, and they 
would almost make one believe they were indeed haunted 
by spirits. 

The Taprai is a spirit, as tall, said Halter, looking 
up, " as the teak-tree." It is seen stretching out its 
long arms to clasp the belated traveller. 

"But did you ever see a La?" I asked Halter's 

" Oh yes, mama, once when going home from this 
very cave." 

Every Karen has his La, and so with all animated 
nature. Some call it a So, which, with La, makes soul. 
It has a little throne in the crown of the head, as the 
Greeks thought. This is man's tutelar divinity, the 
same, it would seem, as the Highland Scots had, for 
they believed the shadow to be a sort of Banshi, or 
guardian, and the Karens call the shadow by the same 
name La, or the light of the body. 

Sometimes the La goes wandering about, and gets 
caught in a thorn bush. Then a great seven-headed 
demon enters into the person, perhaps the same as the 
" Seven other Spirits " mentioned in Scripture. The 
Karens tell of one being whom they call Paba. It 
seems to be Ceres. They make offerings to this goddess, 
and build her a lilliputian house in their rice fields, in 
which they put two cords for her to tie up the straying 
La, if she catches them. In sickness the Karen soul has 
either been tied up, or has gone on a visitation, so they 
try to call it back. They deposit an offering in the 

38 guapung's power. 

jungle for the truant soul, and knock upon their house- 
doors to beseech it to return. 

With the Burmese the spirit at death flies away in 
the form of a butterfly, just as the Greeks believed. 

With the Karens it forms a globule of life, and after a 
time bursts, when the ethereal vapour (or gas, of course, 
attendant upon the decomposition of bodies) falls upon 
the opening flowers, thereby imparting to them the prin- 
ciple of life. Then whatever devours the flower imbibes 
the soul. 

It was Guapung who attempted to teach the women 
of these Golden Waters to make childn n good. For 
three months, one season, I accompanied her over the 
plains of Dong Yahn, mostly for this purpose. So much 
cruelty to children we saw, that my whole soul was 
stirred. Often my little boy has felt unable to remain 
in the house, but has sometimes demanded the ratan, and 
taken it from them. I recollect going to one mother, after 
enduring the scene long enough to have punished a 
dozen Five Points children, and found she had a bundle 
of ratans beside her, which she was still using upon the 
naked body of her own little girl six years old ! I 
never was so strongly tempted to use one myself. The 
poor child was covered with wales and cuts. I saw a 
mother, in a fit of weariness, fling her nursing babe from 
her bosom out upon the bamboo floor, and that mother 
a chief's wife, and among the best of them too. The 
little one died, I think, the next day, and I dressed it 
in flowers for the grave with my own hands, for the 
father was an excellent Christian man, and was incon- 


solable. This woman was not naturally cruel, nor are 
the women generally, except when passion rules. 

Guapung had great power with these Dong Yahn 
women. Indeed, she had with every one, for she was 
one who lived on the Word of God, and seemed to catch 
the tones of the " Better Land." Sometimes our way 
lay over Swiss-like bridges of slender bamboos or single 
logs, then over the prairies, where I could never have 
endured the heat, but for a turban dipped in cold water. 
Once we were lost upon the prairies, and followed a lone 
taper for three hours. We got into a wide morass, Mr. 
Bullard, myself, and babe, and all our party. Darkness 
came on, and no one could tell which was the way out. 
It is a dreadful thing — did you ever know it, friend ? — 
to be out in a prairie marsh in the black night, with 
only a few glimmering torches, sinking deeper and deeper 
at every step, turning and turning, and finding no solid 
foot of ground. I think the feeling; that comes over 
one is about as horrifying as anything I ever experienced. 
For a long time we followed the wicked ignis fatui, but 
finally emerged from the fathomless bogs, and reached 
our home. 

At another time our boatmen, who were strangers 
among the creeks, lost their way, and insisted on re- 
maining out over night. The next day was the Sabbath, 
and we were going to meet the women of Dong Yahn. 
We had made no preparation for the damps of night, 
expecting to reach the village before dark ; but there 
was not any alternative ; my babe had to be wrapped in 
whatever could be found, and put to sleep on sweetened 


water, while I stood all night upon deck to point out 
the landmarks. Many a night, indeed, daring I 
wanderings, I was compelled to lay my little girl to Bleep 
on rice water, and hear her moan out in her unrest, 
" Ma, node, mic." It almost broke my heart, but not a 
drop could be obtained at any price A.fter khe first 
year we learned to Bupply our boat with a goat, and 
little Rasa had the pretty creature all to herself; but 
for years after she would grasp her cup of milk, and <ip 
it f<»r hours, holding it with all her strength, as 
remembered —little thing — the sufferings of those dread- 
ful nights. 

Indeed, these labours were not prosecuted without 
severe pain, weariness, and Buffering, even to Guapung, 
as well as to ourselves. There was one Beason when I 

could obtain DO vegetables of any kind whatever fol -i\ 
weeks. The work was too urgent to be left Mr. Dullard 
had just called out a company of lay converts, and was 
traversing all the plains, preaching to the heathen, while 
Guapung and I were talking to the women from >ix 
o'clock in the morning till ten in the evening, in the 
bungalow, for they thronged us continually, bo that, 
although I remained with them four months at a time, I 
never could command time to touch a needle, or take up 
an English book; and several times returned to the 
city, so utterly exhausted, that the boatmen were obliged 
to carry me from the landing to the house 

But then all weariness and pain were forgotten on 
seeing those poor mothers seeking so earnestly for light 

" My husband loves me now." 

guapung's charm. 41 

" My boys bring me fire-wood now." 

" My little girl don't run away now." 

" There," exclaims a fourth, " you see that boy ? Pie 
was the worst child in the world : he would hold his 
breath till almost dead, and all my beatings did no good. 
Now see, I haven't struck him for a week, and he 's just 
as good as chepoke" (sugar cane). 

Then others were thronging round, anxious to learn 
how to make home happy. One day a woman in great 
distress came some five miles to Guapung for a charm to 
cure her husband from running away. Guapung sat 
down, listened to her sad tale, then said, — " Yes, sister, 
I have a charm," and repeated to her the story of Christ, 
of His forbearance, His humility, and His love for His 

" Now go," says Guapung, "and ask your husband 
home, and then don't scold him again, and see if he 
don't love you." 

About three weeks after, a man came over from that 
woman's village to see " Guapung, the big teacheress, 
who had the charm ;" for he understood that Jesus 
Christ's religion did not allow women to scold their hus- 
bands ! The unhappy woman, he said, was living 
quietly with her husband, and the men of the village 
were all anxious to have their wives join the Christians. 

" Ah," said Guapung to me that night, " if Jesus 
Christ's women only make home happy, the men won't 
oppose them." 

Was she not right ? Yet how sadly has this truth 
been forgotten ! 

42 woman's mission work. 

Yes! if preachers and teachers are only sent to men, 
and women are left idolaters, scolds, and gamblers, how 
slowly the work moves on ! 

In this department of mission labour, woman has yet 
a great work to do — woman in Christian lands and in 
pagan lands. Let our brothers marshal their for 
preachers and books, but we will be the coral-workers, 
out of sight, under ground. Mark thai bly of 

cultivated men and women under the impassioned elo- 
quence of some master Bpirit. What sympathy will be 
elicited, what indignation, what determination, when 
the voice rises and falls! Even bo have I seen it in 
the Mother's Meetings at Dong Yahn, under the inspir- 
ing lessons of the Bible. Yes, the Missionary woman 
who has the native language, and the confidence of the 
people, wields a wand as magical as the orator of London 
or New York; so does the Bible woman of Christian 
lands. Nay, still mightier, for her instructions are not 
for the whirling, changing mass. She goes behind, and 
tones the secret Bprings that move the mass. It is no 
light thing, Christian sister, this lofty privilege, either 
in Heathen or Christian lands, to move the heart-wheel 
that is to roll and roll, and send out links doubling 
through eternity. 

There was a lady, the editress of the " Mother's 
Journal," in New York, who often sent these Dong Yahn 

mothers a few sweet crumbs of strength and comfort. 


But oh, it is dark — dark — dark ! What is that gloomy 


cavalcade? Ah, do not ask — do not ask — silently — 
silently we wind along. Oh, who — who can pity but 
God ? Who but the Almighty give strength ? Why does 
the rain pelt so ? Oh God, the grave is full of water ! 
"Will they put him there ? — the loved, the husband, the 
father, the heathen's friend ! I cannot see — I cannot see! 

Alone ! — what a crushing burden is on the air, float- 
ing over the pillow, pressing upon the eyelids, and sink- 
ing upon the heart like the sound of the first turf upon 
that coffin lid, — on awakening after an hour of feverish 
sleep, in the arms of dear Mrs. Stevens. That moment 
my little boy of six months nestled closer to my bosom, 
looking up so pityingly. It was his father's blue eye — 
a tear gathered under the silken lashes. I knew it — 
accepted it — his father's glance of sympathy — and it 
nerved the heart and hand for future straggles. 

" Are we not to be like the angels ?" And are there 
not " ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them 
who shall be heirs of salvation?" Did not Jacob see 
the angels ascending and descending ? Do not " their 
angels behold every day the face of my Father?" and 
did not the angel father inspire his darling girl, then four 
years old, when she planted her tiny foot firm beside me, 
and, with a faltering voice, yet with the determination 
of age, said, " Don't cry, mamma, don't cry. I '11 be your 
comforter ! " wiping off my tears with her infant hand ? 
Never shall I forget that voice — that glowing eye that 
spoke so thrillingly of peace. It was the father's great 
heart coming back through his little one. Blessed child ! 
They icere inspired words — faithfully kept, thank Heaven, 


Nobly my dear husband strove, nobly he died. May 
the father's mantle fall upon his boy ! 

Dong Yahn was the centre of Mr. Bullard's field of 
enterprise — our loved Jungle Home — where he laboured 
with an inspiration that inspired all Dong Yahn, and 
linked many a Karen heart to his for eternity. 

Although my dear husband compressed the labours of 
a long life into three brief years in India, yet his minis- 
try had been twenty-two years: for he was hut twelve 
years old when a deacon of the Rutland church in Ver- 
mont sent for him twelve miles t" come ami preach in 
his own house, and lie ever after bore the title in his 
childhood of "the beloved little John," for his peace- 
making gifts at school, gifts for which he was remark- 
able through life. lie was always studious, and in- 
defatigable in overcoming difficulties. He mastered 
the Pwo Karen language within a year ; preached in 
it a thousand sermons, baptized thirty-eight Pwo 
Karens, taught nearly a year his Theological Class 
with great devotion, organized two churches, gave them 
their first discipline in their own language; left them a 
rich legacy in a Karen Missionary Sermon, and trans- 
lated for them the Gospel of Matthew, with Explana- 
tions ; besides ministering to them, from door to door, 
nearly all over the Pwo Karen territory of the Maulniain 

He carried up to his Master a crown of a hundred 
stars, his own dear converts, baptized by himself. He 
was ordained three years before going to Burmah. and 
two precious revivals followed his preaching in Massa- 


clmsetts ; and how many converts lie found above, or 
meets coming up there now, no one here may tell. 

He was, too, the tenderest of husbands — the fondest 
of fathers. 

The following lines were written on leaving this our 
first home in the wilderness : — 


Kind forest-child, away, away ! 
Oh urge rne not, I may not stay ; 
But on your breast this tear-drop lay, 
While now, with heart all torn, I say, 
Farewell, Dong Yalm ! 

Farewell, high rocks, and caverns gray ! 
Farewell, sweet flowers that smile so gay ! 
Farewell, my birds in bright silk clad, 
Ye who have sung my lone heart glad, 
In sweet Dong Yalin ! 

And must I leave that Inga grove, 
That bower of prayer we loved to rove ? 
Ah, yes, sweet bowers, your drooping flowers 
Sigh with me now o'er by-gone hours, 
In bright Dong Yahn. 

Leave, too, that stream, that blessed stream, 
O'er which a star now seems to beam, 
Where ransom'd souls have lowly bow'd, 
And, strong in God, have firmly vow'd 
To save Dong Yahn. 

How oft on this secluded plain 

We 've smiled and wept o'er joy and pain ! 

How often angels hover'd near, 

Over the penitential tear, 

Here in Don'' Yahn ! 


And can I leave that temple there, 
Where once your Teacher knelt in prayer,— 
That Teacher who, with pitying eye, 
Would ever soothe the mourner's cry, 
In our Dong Yahn i 

And, more than all, my pupils kind, 
Round whom the cords of love are twined, 
Must I, then, never, never see 
Those eyes that beam so tenderly 
In my Dong Yahn ? 

Entreat not, child, with that sad tear! 
It pains my very soul to hear ; 
Oh look not up so grieved and pleading, 
For my crush' d heart is also bleeding 
O'er lone Dong Yahn. 

Dear ones, farewell ! I go, I go ! 
Though sorrows brim and overflow ; 
God comfort thee in all thy woe, 
And span thy hills with heaven's bow, 
My loved Dong Yahn ! 

After many months of grief, which I trust was sanc- 
tified, I turned to the Indo-Britons, a large and sadly 
neglected class in Maulmain. 

A very pretty, intelligent Anglo-Indian young woman 
became my Bible Reader. Her name was Jessie. She 
visited more than a hundred and fifty Burmese women 
with me, besides many of her own people. Jessie had 
known sorrow, and was therefore fitted for the work. 
No person whose heart has not been bowed by grief is 
prepared for it. Lessons in sorrow are just as necessary 


to the Bible reader in heathen lands, and in Christian 
lands too, as discipline in language or arithmetic. 

" Miss Jessie, have you brought your Jesus Book to- 

"Yes, Rabbi." 

" Well, read, Miss, read. Don't speak. I'm sick, read." 

It was Mr. , of Maulmain, who thus spoke. He 

was a Hebrew. Jessie understood the tone. She was 
much surprised at the command, for he had always for- 
bade her opening her New Testament ; but she obeyed at 
once, asking no questions. Slowly, distinctly, she read 
on, the fifth chapter of Matthew, then the story of Nico- 
demus, then of the young lawyer, then the parable of the 
sower, the husbandman, and much more. The Hebrew 
had turned his face to the wall, and uttered not a word. 
His wife sat by and listened, swinging her infant. She, 
too, so silent, they could hear every drop of the pattering 
rain. Finally, Jessie closed her Jesus Book, pressed the 
sweet Jewess's hand, and went out. 

It was soon after that I left Maulmain, and heard no 
more from my Hebrew friends. Jessie married, and we 
both had new cares. 

It was in 1860, on my way to the States, that I again 

met Mr. in the steamer Burmah. He had with 

him his wife, a son and daughter, and a friend with ser- 
vants. He was going up to Calcutta to take a wife for 
his son — the babe the Jewess was tending when Jessie 
was there. They were very happy, for the alliance was 
to be with a powerful family, one that had worked itself 
up as I suppose as they had done. 


The Jews are the Yankees of the East, always man- 
aging to make their way upward if it is only one step a 
month, and they do it in the same maimer as the "Song 
of the Shirt" — by work, work, wmk, morning, noon, and 
night — and by watching men's eyes. 

When I first knew Mr. he was a poor man, just 

beginning as a small shop-keeper in Maulmain. Abra- 
ham, Isaac, and all the patriarchs had re appeared in tbe 
bazaar there, and it was amusing to hear them : if v m 

inquired of Mr. for an article not in his simp, lie 

would go through all the bazaar calling n]> Samuels, 

Moshas, Daniels, ami Davids, till yon wonld begin to 

ask if his mother lived in Endor, But it did not matter 
what yon thought ; he wonld be sure to bring yon the 

article desired, whether satins, nails, or pickles. 

Now, Mr. was said to be worth twenty lacs of 

rupees, or about ten hundred thousand dollars. 

The son was dressed on this wedding tonr in bine sill: 
pantaloons, with the finest linen — a long tunic of the 
richest blue silk brocade over a white linen robe, and a 
Fez cap with a rich heavy crimson tassel. lie had a 
costly ruby upon his finger, but no other jewelry. 

The sister was beautiful. Her dress generally was of 
silks, cut very much in the style of our present dresses. 
She wore no veil, but a delicate mantle of exquisite 
gauze, thrown gracefully over the head, and around the 
waist a chain of gold, with a heavy talisman or scroll of 
gold. She wore rich bracelets, and a Bnrman necklace 
of gold threads, with diamond earrings and rings. The 
Jewessess in Burmah do not veil themselves within doors 


any more than Sarai did, but I have met them return- 
ing from the synagogue veiled in Persian style, showing 
only their fine large black eyes. 

The Hebrews of Maulmain are very light, almost 
white, indeed. They have not the transparent rose and 
white of Erin and the Norseland, but they are white 
Asiatics. They are cultivated people, well read, and 

very polite, except that and his lovely family 

would not eat with us Gentiles. They kept their own 
cook, and had their meals served by themselves on solid 

Mr. was a fine singer, and I wanted him to 

sing me a Hebrew Psalm, but he did not like to do it 
there. This led to a long talk about the Scripture pro- 
phecies. He seemed unwilling to hear them, but 
digressed continually to the genealogies and histories of 
the Israelites. He could silence me very quickly in the 
genealogical line, for it is as much as I can do to re- 
member who my grandfather was. I had to give up 
that. I could trace Abraham's only to Terah the Gen- 
tile. He did not like to touch on the hundred and 
tenth Psalm, but could chant the whole of the hundred 
and fifth. Finally, after indulging him and all his com- 
panions in a victorious laugh over my obstinate ignorance 
of the Chronicles, I succeeded in netting: him to read 
attentively the twenty-ninth and fifty-third chapters of 
Isaiah, when a pious, intelligent officer joined us, and I 
left them. The discussion was prolonged until a very 

late hour, and after all others had retired, I saw 

standing with his friend Mr. Cohen, apparently preach- 


ing to him Jesus, the Holy One of Israel, while Mr. 
Cohen's excited tone, eye, and manner, expressed all the 
scorn of the Pharisee. They were speaking in Arabic, 

but I could distinctly hear saying the " Mesheah," 

the " Mesheah," and pointing him to Isaiah. It was a 
moment of the deepest interest to me ; and the officer 

told me that Mr. did acknowledge to him alone 

that he had a New Testament in his own house, and 
had read it twice through ; [moreover, that he did some- 
times doubt, and scarcely knew what to believe about 
their long-expected Messiah. But he added, "Suppose 
we believe this Book. What can we do ? We are 
dependent upon our business. If we confess Jesus to be 
the Christ, we shall surely be cast out of the Synagogue, 
and then not a Jew will do business with us." 

Do people think what it Mas, and what it is now, to 
be put out of the synagogue ? 

As I looked on my friend , in the saloon of the 

" Burniah," thought went back to Jessie and my Eura- 
sian friends in Maulmain. One eye after another rose 
around the cabin, beaming with hope, love, and high 
resolve, till I laid my head down and wept for Jessie and 
my old Sunday-school. The pupils and teachers of this 
school were very dear to me, and Jessie was my principal 
helper. Thrilling scenes and discoveries did we make in 
our visitings among the Eurasian children and their 
heathen mothers in Maulmain. 

One Burman woman insisted that she was married, 
that the white man ate pickled tea with her, which is 
the same as joining hands in English ; but a third, the 


mother of three little children, looked up and said, "My 
mother sold me when thirteen years old. The father of 
my babes will never marry me ; I am not his colour. I 
dare not ask it. He never promised it. What can I 
do ? If I leave him, my children die. Lady," and the 
big tears stood in that heathen woman's eye, " Lady, it 
was a Christian who bought me : will not the Christian's 
God pity me ? " 

At another place we found a woman sitting upon the 
grass beating her bosom, and moaning most piteously. 
Her curly-headed, blue-eyed boy had been taken from 
her — stolen from her in the night — and sent across the 
ocean for an English education. She would never see 
him again, or if she did, only to be cursed by him. She 
was a maniac. 

I was told of another poor creature, who went tearing 
her hair, rushing wildly up and down the streets calling 
for her two little girls. Their father had taken an Eng- 
lish wife, a perfect stranger to the children and to their 
mother ; a dashing, working woman, just come out from 
Scotland. She would want help, so, to save other ex- 
pense, the two sisters were taken by force from their 
mother, who idolized them, and put under this hard 
foreigner, with a father who only cared for gold. This 
was my Jessie and her little sister. Their poor mother, 
I think, never saw them again, and their sad story is too 
harrowing to relate. Many of these children inherit 
their father's high spirit, scorn their Burman relations, 
and are equally scorned by them. So that the condition 
of this class is truly pitiable. They need a real Yankee 

e 2 


school in their midst — that is, one giving them a sound 
English education, mentally and physically, and one that 
will teach them to scorn the oriental fear of work. 

When I began teaching the Karens of Dong Yahn, 
they refused to wash their own clothes, but insisted on 
my hiring a washerman for them. I insisted on their 
doing it themselves. Then they would not bring their 
clothes at all ; so I was obliged to go to the rooms of 
each pupil, for I had then men, women, and children. 
Finally, it occurred to me that they held it as degrading 
because ice hired a dhoby. So one Saturday I called all 
together, placed the children to mind the fires and the 
well, and took the mothers to the wash-tub ; I got out 
my children's clothes, and went into the soap suds in 
earnest. "There," I said, "you see how book-women 
can wash." 

" Mama makes herself a cooley" said one of the 
preachers, with unutterable scorn. 

" And what, Bahme, did the Son of God make Him- 
self?" I asked, when he walked away. The example 
moved them all, and proved a decided success ; so that 
from that time no more washermen were called for my 
school, and ever after I found they washed every week 
regularly in the jungles. One had gone so far as to get 
a flat-iron, and even ironed her husband's jackets. 

Their subsequent habits of cleanliness seemed to 
change them every way. One boy who was very lazy, 
and who would sit down at play hours, after he began 
to wash his turban, became all at once the most indus- 
trious fellow there ; he subsequently learned the printing 


business, and became so efficient, he was called for every- 
where. He dated his conversion from that time ; and 
so did a fine little girl, now a preacher's wife, as her 
pastor wrote me subsequently. 

Another young girl had troubled me much with her 
bad temper and language. Suddenly she changed, and, 
from being hated by her companions, became a favourite. 
One day I called her aside, and inquired how it was she 
had kept from saying bad words so long. The tears 

" Mama," she said, " when my dress was dirty, my 
heart was dirty. Now I want to keep my heart clean. 
So when the bad words rise, I pray to God, then shut 
my teeth tight, and choke them ! " 

Six of these young washerwomen became Bible readers 
and teachers ; one married the highest chief in the land, 
and another the head teacher in the Theological School 
in Maulmain. 

Another time one of the women remained out of 
school, because her child cried. I called for the child, 
and found it all over eruption, from the crown of its 
head to the soles of its feet. I ordered an ointment, 
and gave her a cake of castile soap. 

" Mama," she exclaimed, with all the disgust she 
could express, " it smells ! " And no persuasion could 
induce that mother to put her delicate hands to the 

" Very well," I said, " give me the poor little thing," 
and dashed him into the water ; then anointed the little 
tubercle of humanity with my own hands. The next 

54 JULIA, 

day he was so much bettor, the mother was encouraged, 
and ventured to follow ; and from that time her children 

wen- the most cleanly in her village, and have risen up 

to honour their parents These were Karens, bat — 

"Will Mrs. Bullanl please send her servant asked 
a poor Eurasian young woman, who had applied to me 

for sewimr. She was living with her Burman mother 

alone, down among the huts. I made her up a small 
roll, and handed it to her as we do at home; but Bhe 
was the daughter of a baron, and a high military officer. 
It would degrade her to carry that little roll of cloth. 
This is orientalism, and one of the greatest hindrances 
to the education of eastern nations. 

"No, Julia," I answered; "1 don't think I could 
-end Sammy. He's gone to market, and he has no one 
to do the work for him. But I "11 take it myself; I 
should like to see your mother." 

Julia's eyes opened as thej never did before: "Oh,no, 

madam ;" but 1 took the roll home. Julia never again 

asked for a servant. 

Now, these Indo Britons need to be taught after the 

Yankee model, to put their hand- to work, and to 

regard all work as honourable if honest. Then they 

would rise up and become the elevators of the heathen, 
and the strength of the Government. 




Will you take a sail now in " the rains" down the Bay 
to Monmogon, on the coast of Tavoy ? It is an awful 
kind of beauty that nature puts on here ; but come, it 
is inspiring. 

Wild, sublime, and lovely as ocean, sky, rock, and 
flower can be, is this Monmogon, our home by the sea ; 
especially when a storm broods over the islands, or draws 
up in a line of water- spouts. At times I have seen a 
long colonnade of these glorious water-columns, now and 
then lit up by a crossing sunbeam into prisms of inde- 
scribable grandeur. Indeed, the lover of marine scenery 
always finds Monmogon enchanting ground. 

The dark graceful avenues of feathery Casuarinas, the 
two lonely mountains north and south, the frontage of 
rocky isle and green sea, and the knowledge that there 
is a village a mile behind in the mangoes, make it all 
that the lover of romance can want in scenery. The 
orchids are flowering in the woods, the creepers carpeting 
the alluvial plain, and the darling little pink and white 
shells embroidering the shingly beach. It is exciting, 


'hen the fisher monkeys come scampering along the 
sand, digging out the shells, cracking them as boys 
would their nuts, and helping themselves to breakfast 
It was exciting to see our boys chasing them, or tending 
their great baby monkey. One day a Burman brought 
them a young white eyelid monkey, of a pretty flesh 
colour, that did truly look like a little baby boy. They 
:id it off to t\ -. fir they had 

another pet monkey, and the moment the pet saw them 
touch the white one, it sprang at it, and would have 
killed it. 

The boys amused themselves also by running after the 
nut. along the beach, and watching the cun- 
ning scarlet-C'loured crabs ; but one time they came 
bounding into the door in breathless haste, and a few 
minutes after a barking deer leaped, almost flew past, 
through the jungle, and the children fully believed they 
could hear the hard breathing of the tiger over the im- 
ploring eyes of the pretty deer. There were tigers all 
around us we knew : for thev had devoured two men in 
the neighbourhood after we went there, and we some- 
times heard their dismal " peo, peo," ranging round the 
niangrov - 

It is in August. 1853 : Mr. Mason lies on his cot in 
the centre of the bungalow, too weak to speak loud, or 
raise his han - 

" Husband, do get well, and we '11 go to Tounghoo ! " 
I say playfully. He looks up a moment earnestly, 
smiles, and drops into a calm sleep. Strange to say, 
from that verv hour he beirins to mend. 


One week passes — a light cot of bamboo, covered and 
enclosed with thatch, stands at the door. 

" Gently — gently — Moungyen," and they lift him in 
on to his little bed. He is nicely tucked up and covered 
from the rain. 

"Who are to carry the Sahib ? " 

'• These, ma'am/' pointing to six of the smallest men 

" No, no, these men can take me, but the stoutest 
ones must be master's bearers. Stand up together. 
Let 's see if you are the same height." 

The natives think nothing about this, and generally 
put tall men on one side, and short ones on the other ; 
then go trotting on, regardless of the constant anxiety it 
gives the persons borne lest they should be tipped out. 

Turning a bend in the path, I see my little daughter 
swinging over a slippery precipice, in a basket borne by 
two Burmans, on a bamboo. The poor little thing is 
drenched with the pouring rain, for her umbrella, like 
mine, had been smashed by the bearers. Beyond, on 
the verge of a high perpendicular cliff, are my two little 
boys astride of men's shoulders. One is on the neck of 
a tall, sleek Coringa, clinging with might and main to 
the fellow's long black hair, which was streaming: Absa- 
loin-like, a part in the wind, and a part tangled in the 
jungle branches above. 

" He is a votary of Kali," I think, as my eye glances 
down at the rapids beneath. But at that moment there 
appear half a dozen red, checked, and white turbans 
from below. 


" Ho, ho ! Stop, stop, Moungyen ! " Useless halloo- 
ing. They 're too far on to stop, and I hold my breath 
as they cross, for the bearers are dangling my husband's 
cot right over a deep gulf as black as night, and they 
stand on a single log, ilirown as a bridge across the 

" Now, Allay, these Burmans are not to do such a 
daring thing again," and I leave my chair, and walk 
before to watch the road, stopping now and then to 
wet my husband's lips with wine, and say a word of 
comfort — full of terror, lest he should expire on the road. 
Nothing but a faint hope that he might live through 
such a journey could have induced me to go at such a 
time. But he was so nearly dying, I felt sure he could 
survive but a few days if he remained. No physician 
near — no white face. 

On they go, tugging up the steep ascent, over toppling 
crags, and through the dripping, pinched-up fissure 
beyond. We had crossed the submerged, unreaped rice 
field, with much effort descended the steep falling bank, 
and crossed the Tavoy river. A stout Burman, with 
only his patsoe trussed up, caught me in his arms, and 
plunged at once knee deep into the mire, and kept 
plunging to the top of the bank. These men have such 
a way of walking, one feels quite safe ; and they never 
dropped me, although they have carried me many a time 
through swollen streams, and up steep precipices, clench- 
ing their naked toes to the rocks like the mountain goat. 
I have crossed these mountains in painful anxiety and 
fear at midnight, by torch-light, almost fleeing before my 


bearers, who plodded on with their empty chair, fearing 
lest we should be left in utter darkness with the tigers ; 
but this time it was more fearful still, for the whole 
seemed like a funeral march. 

Nothing was heard but the roar of some hidden tor- 
rent behind a crag, the scream of the peacock eagle as 
she plunged down the tiger-haunted abyss, the surge- 
like sounds of the hornbills' wings soaring around the 
splintered pinnacles, and the mournful requiem of the 
congregated wauwau monkeys, calling and answering 
from mountain to mountain, or hurling rocks right over 
our heads. The craggy precipices loomed up from five 
hundred to fifteen hundred feet on each side the gorge, 
almost shutting out the light ; and not a blossom looked 
out to cheer us, except now and then the blue thunber- 
gia, which I have loved ever since ; but instead of flowers, 
immense creepers swung over the lonely ravines and along 
the cliffs like mourning weeds draping a cathedral. 

In the same manner I had carried my husband to the 
sea-shore nearly two years before, and the change restored 
him for a time to health. 

After nine miles travel in the heaviest rain, over 
rocks and crags, rivers and gulfs, we are glad enough to 
reach Tavoy. 

" Husband, dear, are you still alive ?" 

"Please go quickly!" I entreat of the Missionary 
brethren, " and see if we can get passage to Maulmain 
in the steamer just ready to leave." 

All shake their heads, and fingers are raised in token 
of warning-. 

60 MR. MASON. 

"She's crazy," they Bay to themselves; bat I put 
some wine to his lips and hasten out. 

In the steamer — "Captain, captain! will you take 
my husband ' Please do ; hell die h< 

•• The captain is not here, madam ; can't engage." 

"Oh, Sir, do take my husband. Say he may be 

'l'lt ifficer lias a human heart. 

■• Well, madam, I've no right. The captain may be 
displeased, bnt I'll venture We have in an hour 
though, Yon can't get him hen 

•■ only Bay the word — well try.*' 

In the Btreets ; not a bearer left : hungry and wet, 
all have run away t-> their homes. No time to ! 
hasten over to our old Barman bazaar-woman. Bya few- 
words and more gestures make her comprehend. Out 
she goes, and in half an hour my husband'e cot is 

alongside the Bteamer. (' 1. kind Mr. Gray lifts him 

up, cot and all, on to the dick. 

There I knelt beside him, telling him earnestly he 
would not die, for he was called to Tounghoo, and all 
the time my own heart beating as if it would hurst 
through. Thank heaven, he lived ; and on arriving in 
Maulmain, the change of air, diet, and medicine set him 
in his chair again. We were much indebted lure to 
Quarter Master I Iraig, an officer then in Maulmain. This 
kind friend of Mr. Mason came in one day with a bottle 
of the best old port wine, and a paper of charred cork. 
He begged my husband to try it — a wine-glass of wine 
and a tea-spoonful of the cork together, three times 


a-day. He did try it, and it cured him of the most 
obstinate chronic illness, which had baffled the skill of 
all his physicians. 

A week has passed — Mr. Mason is still very weak ; 
but he calls me beside him — 

"Ellen," he says, "don't you think it maybe duty for 
us to try and go to Tounghoo ?" 

" Most certainly. Haven't a doubt of it." 

" But you can't ." Before he could finish, I was 


In the streets of Maulmain. I call an extra servant. 

" John, will you go with the Sahib to Tounghoo ?" 

" Oh, no, mistress. Plenty robbers. Me very 'fraid." 

At last, after three days a servant is engaged. But 
it was nearly a week that he and I traversed those 
streets, hour after hour, and day after day, in search of 
a boat and men who would dare to make the perilous 
attempt of going to Tounghoo. Pegu had been taken by 
the English, and the country was overrun with dacoits. 

Finally, on Saturday, in answer to prayer, I am sure, 
a few volunteers appeared at our door. Among them a 
Karen boatman, a Christian, who could speak Pwo 
Karen, the language I was familiar with. Mr. Mason 
said, "Take him for your Tutauman, or interpreter.'" 
I did so, and wonderful indeed has been this man' s 
career ever since. 

After a few days we are on the way for that unknown 
land of song, old Tounghoo. Almost everybody then 
condemned the undertaking, or at least thought it a wild 
scheme, and a most perilous exposure of life. 


Imagine us in a small Burman boat, with a queer, 
hood-like cover of thatch over the centre ; a corps of 
six native preachers in another boat, and rowing a few 
miles up the Salwcn. I could not help wishing that our 
way led up as far as Trockla, for I do love trees, and 
this is the land of that queen of trees, the Amherstia. 
I have seen several in full bloom in Maulmain, but could 
only talk to its native glories in imagination. 

It is something like an umbrella in form, with light 
drooping branches of lively given. Its blossoms arc of 
brilliant red and yellow, which float down mure than a 
yard in length. Doctor Wallich first discovered it, and 
named it after Lady Amherst, wife of the Governor- 
General of India. The tree is said to be worth fifty 
pounds in England. 

About fifty miles north-west of Martaban Gulf, we 
passed in sight of a land I had many times visited. 
The last time I went in search of a pupil, whose mother 
had kept him away from school. The family lived quite 
alone on the skirts of a forest, and we had to walk some 
three miles over the paddy fields, with feet almost blis- 
tering, and fainting from the noon-day heat. A Karen 
girl carried my babe, and on reaching the ladder, I saw 
two women cutting up fish on the verandah. I called 
to them, but they gave me no answer. I ascended, but 
they gave me no mat. I took a stone for a seat with 
my babe, all of us utterly exhausted. Not the slightest 
attention was bestowed, nor any recognition of our pre- 
sence. The house was quite full of young men and 
women ; but one looked at the rice pot, another at the 


fishing; net, another at the water bucket, and another 
played with the dog's tail, making him keep up a con- 
tinual yelp. All seemed determined not to know us, 
and kept on their loud talking and jesting, both girls 
and boys. 

Clack, clack, too, went the knives, and for a moment 
my heart sunk within me. Never before nor since did 
I receive so much rudeness, or see so much scorn in the 
countenances of heathen men and women. 

Finally, my school girls, who had accompanied me, 
struck up a Karen hymn ; clearly, slowly, sweetly they 
sung on about the Saviour, and as their plaintive notes 
floated round among the lime-trees and over the bananas, 
it seemed to fall upon the boisterous company like a 
gentle shower on tumultuous waves. For a moment 
there was a calm, and I began to explain the words of 
the hymn. 

Clack, clack, faster and faster went the knives. Soon 
another loud contemptuous laugh. 

We sung again. Another pause, and again we addressed 
them. So the scene continued, until at last, when we 
had sung nearly through the third hymn, they began to 
drop, one after another, as if mesmerized. All sat down 
but one, a tall, handsome, light-coloured maiden, whose 
rolling eyes and mischievous tricks greatly troubled us. 
She was the daughter of the mistress of the house, one 
of the choppers on the verandah. Gradually, just as 
we have seen the dawn opening, the surrounding eyes 
began to lose their wildness, and the lips their scorn ; 
finally, the mouths all around began to open wider and 


wider, while the glance of the eyes grew sharper, steadier, 
more penetrating. 

Clack, clack, went the knives. 

Earnestly we entreated the Great Enlightener to 
descend, and I do believe He was there, wicked as the 
place was. Suddenly it occurred to me that I did not 
hear the knives. I looked round, and there lay the two 
women, the very personification of two great porpoises, 
stretched upon the floor behind, their chins propped up 
by their hands and elbows ; but their eyes were full of 
tears. Yes, those savage -mannered women had human 

I found my pupil hidden behind a rice basket, where 
the chopping women had put him on seeing my approach. 
On questioning him about the Sabbath, he said he 
remembered the Sabbath day. 

" And how do you spend it ? " 

" I read this," he answered, taking out the Gospel of 
Matthew from under the basket. He had paid two 
annas for it. After Mr. Bullard had printed St. Mat- 
thew for the Pwos, he suggested to my school children 
that they should each pay sixpence a-piece for it. Books 
had always been given them before, and the idea of buy- 
ing books was wholly new to them. "It hit their 
minds " though, as they said, and they came forward to 
purchase in great numbers, and went and covered them 
the first thing they did — which I had never seen them 
do with any book before. 

It was in 1846 that Imade this trip to the Prairie 
women. In 1850 I went to visit my old school. I was 


passing round the room, feeling mournful that I could 
not recognise any old familiar faces, when suddenly a 
heavy hand was laid upon my shoulder, and I confronted 
a large elderly woman, who gazed into my eyes with a 
depth in her own I could not account for. 

" Mama!" she exclaimed, "I 'm not as I was ! Don't 
you know me ? I 'm not as I was ; " seizing both my 
hands in her brawny palms, and leading, rather hurrying, 
me up to a desk — " My daughter, Mama ! My daugh- 
ter ! " Both had been baptized. 

Oh, did not the angels weep tears of joy with me that 
morning ? Did not their loved teacher in heaven look 
down with unutterable delight upon that scene ? Thanks 
be to God who giveth us victory — " victory through our 
Lord Jesus Christ." 

As I thought of these scenes in passing the prairies, 
my eyes peered toward the misty north, and the veiled 
future ; and I heard — yes, it seemed like a voice saying, 
" Only believe." 

Then the sun shone out brighter, the birds sang more 
sweetly, our boat glided on, and we rejoiced over the 
coming days of Tounghoo. It seemed as if everything 
else rejoiced too with us, even the water fowl on the 

These prairies are the home of innumerable water 
fowl : — adjutants nodding their floating marabout plumes 
among the red lilies and crimson leaves of the nelum- 
biums ; cormorants, teal, and thousands of snow-white 
herons with black legs, mingling with the white lilies as 
if blossoms themselves. In a cove here I saw a hun- 


dred pelicans netting up the fish like skilled old fisher- 
men. A hundred more swept through the air above, 
with several magnificent cranes ; and down came from 
a distant pinnacle the fisher-eagle ; while the wide plain 
was flanked with many a herd of great black buf- 
faloes, standing like lines of cavalry drawn up around 
the horizon. 

Then came the " Guiding Island" in the midst of 
this desert. The canal here enters a small lake, encircled 
by little lights glimmering among the morning shadows 
as we float under the lime-trees, reminding us of what 
children sing of 

" — One of those beautiful islands, 

Away in the tropical seas, 
Where flow'n ts blossom all winter, 

And oranges hang on the fcr 

But right beside the oranges is a poor, woe-begone 
peasant plying his skiff through the prairie — now up, 
now down, while his wife keeps two small bamboos 
working on the sides. They are gathering grass seeds 
for their children's breakfast. In times of famine the 
natives of India use grass seeds for rice. 

Afterwards Sittang bursts upon us like a fairy-land, 
lying in a tranquil mirror-like semicircle, a mile or more 
in width. Rows of cottages and avenues of trees on 
either side, with the dim battlements of the ancient city 
in the distance ! These make the place so lovely, and 
it looks so civilized, that one doubts for a moment if the 
inhabitants can be heathen. 


Old Sittang was founded about six hundred years ago, 
by the Talaing monarch of Pegu, about twenty miles 
west of this place. It was designed by nature for a 
stronghold, and such it has continued to be, passing 
through innumerable changes ; now sacked by the Shans, 
then by the Burmans, and by how many more nations I 
know not, but at last taken by the English in 1824 or 
1825, given up again to the Burmans, and retaken by 
the British in 1852. 

Modern Sittang has a very tolerable bazaar close to 
the river, which here flows round a crescent-shaped pre- 
cipice, rising just behind the principal street, forming a 
natural rampart from one to two hundred feet high ; 
perpendicular, and covered with brilliant green shrubbery, 
it presents a very striking and beautiful background. 
On this hill the English have planted their cantonments. 
The place is garrisoned by a small force ; the town at 
present numbers only from one to two thousand inhab- 
itants, mostly Burmans, and I believe all are heathen. 

Passing up this river the boatmen tell us many tales — 
among them the following: : — 

While the British troops were on their march from 
Shwaygyn to Tounghoo, a party of horse one day galloped 
off some distance from the army, and came suddenly upon 
a skirmishing party of three or four hundred Burmese 
soldiers, armed ready for battle. As soon as they saw 
the Colahs, they all cowered down and shekoed, except 
one, who was dauntless enough to fire a musket. He 
had no sooner fired, than a sepoy leaped to his side and 
caught him by the hair, calling out : 

f 2 


"Who are you, you rascal?" Whereupon somebody 
who knew him muttered, "Rajah." 

" Rajah ! " shouted the sepoy. " Who ? Where ' " 

" Hoga, Rajah! Rajah!" cried the caught man, 
pointing fiercely to a Burinan who was galloping off at 
full speed. 

"So, ho !" shouted the sepoy, starting with all fury 
after the flying rider, when, to his great chagrin, he 
learned that the man he had let go was the Rajah, the 
robber Governor oiMartaban, and the one he was pur- 
suing was his servant. In the mean time, the Rajah 
had run for Ins life. 

So, you see, many scenes have been acted along these 
waters — many shockingly tragic, and some tragi-comic. 

" Saya, Saya!" came in subdued tones through oth 
boat-curtains the morning after we had slept at Sittang. 

"What — what is it, Kodote?" hurriedly questions 
the Missionary, rousing from his sleep, for it is scarcely 

" Thane nat ! thane not !" 

" Ha ! What ? Where are the guns ?" 

" Gone, Saya. The J< miahs have got them both ' " 

It seems incredible, for the missing muskets are both 
loaded, and lie on each side of our head boatman under 
his curtains. But gone they are, and thankful are we 
that the dacoits have not turned them upon us as we lay 
helpless before them. 

We have been repeatedly told that our way is infested 
by robbers, and that a notorious brigand has posted 
his followers not far from this place ; but haying an old 


soldier to lead us, and our boats being well armed, we 
have felt comparatively safe. We now see more than 
ever how weak is man, how strong is God. 

Imagine one vast plain stretching to the west as far 
as the eye can reach, its banks fringed with luxuriant 
cucubine reeds and the long purple tassels of the sac- 
charrine grass. Here and there, too, is a village, and 
then comes a green field of waving rice instead of the 
forever glaring yellow. The spirit is cheered, too, by 
human sounds which tell of a heart-tie. When tra- 
velling far among deep forests and burning plains, we 
forget nations, and feel so grateful to grasp any human 
hand or hear any human sound ; no matter what is said, 
even a curse would sometimes be thankfully received 
from a brother man. 

Our right shore contrasts finely with the left in its 
magnificent precipices, which occasionally tower up all 
of a sudden from their level basements, overhano-ino; the 
river with great boldness and beauty. On our right is 
a grand range of mountains, the same chain as seen at 
Martaban, which separates the Salwen and Sittang val- 
leys, and extends far above Ava, And here we are at 
Shwaygyn, the City of Gold, one hundred and thirty- 
six miles from Maulmain. 

'Tis an old town, and if you wish to know how it 
looks, you must think of two broad rivers meeting up 
here, a little way from the foot of these great mountains. 
At their junction lie two precipitous ledges of rock, like 
terraces, one above the other. On the highest of these 
hills, which presents a broad space of table-land, the 


British troops are cantoned, mostly within the old Bur- 
rnan stockade. 

The lower terrace of Shwaygyn presents the aspect 
of having been in its day one of the loveliest spots in 
India. The beautiful Abbe; Hill here opens over a 
perpendicular precipice of forty or fifty feet, on the 
of which Btands a line of fairy like pagodas, and 
then a line of ancient abbeys. In Burmah, monasteries 
are perched on the cliffs, like the Romish Convents 
of the Levant. Below these bills are about a thou- 
sand houses, bordering each furk fur about two miles, 
making the city s<>nic four or five miles long, and per- 
haps one mile in width. The houses are nearly all low 
huts of bamboo, or teak and matting ; but the monaste- 
ries are principally of teak, strongly built, some of them 
richly carved, and with roofs of five gradations in height. 
Shwaygyn excels in the grandeur and elaborate carv- 
ing of its public buildings. But what a queer medley 
is Burraan architecture ! everywhere of a perfect cha- 
meleon order. Look at these hug -erpent spouts, 
which join the ruofs, and you think they ought to 
have come from the Cyclopean or old Phenician land. 
Glance again at these fairy temple- spires, and the 
pointed arch, and you cry, " The Goth ! the Goth '." 

Look at these monastery domes, and the pavilion 
roofs, the relics of sun idolatry, and you say it is Chinese 
surely ; but just then you glance at the arch turned 
into a horse-shoe amidst flowers, and vines, and mosaic, 
and you cry, "Arabian!" but another look, and you 
declare it is no Arabian, and nobody's order at all. 


Symes tells us that the King of Paghan destroyed one 
thousand arched temples, and four thousand square 
ones, to obtain bricks and stones to build a contemplated 
wall of defence against the Chinese. From this we may 
conclude that the Burmese formerly built of stone. The 
most curious little temple perhaps in Burmah is the 
Peepul-Fane of Tavoy, where the branches of an old 
peepul have taken root close around the idol, and com- 
pletely embower it. 

One of the monasteries which I visited was orna- 
mented with paintings, among which were the four 
Buddhs who have already blessed the earth, three repre- 
sented upon thrones, but Debendea, the third, as always 
pictured, sitting upon the sacred lotus. Three nuns 
were bowing before them, and when I begged of them 
not to worship, " I '11 worship, worship, worship ! " one 
repeated till I left. 

Burmese painting seems to be all of one type. But 
there is a barbaric inspiration in it after all. Perspec- 
tive, foreshortening, chiaro-scuro, graduating tints, and 
the softening outlines they have no idea of, yet they 
make eloquent pictures without them. Their figures 
are often struck out quite in proportion, with the bold- 
ness and freedom of a Correggio ; yet they seldom know 
what to do with the feet, and pack them up as much 
out of the way as possible. 

In Burmah, paintings of all kinds, good, bad, and 
indifferent, are valued according to the size — one rupee 
the cubit. 

A Shan painter wanted me to sit to him for my 


portrait, which to encourage the old man I did, but 
when he got to the eyes, he could not make them torn, 
so one morning I said, " Let me take the brush," which 
he did, but as soon as he saw the picture was looking at 
him, he gave a cry of terror as if it had been "an evil 
eye," dashed down his pallet, and fled. I never saw 
him again. 

Burmah lias a genius for painting as much as Italy, 
but this base valuing of art as chips and blocks sup- 
presses any attempt at rising, and so they drudge on by 
the old monastic rules of Mount Athos. The wall 
paintings of the temples are usually the best. The most 
antique arc monochromes executed in gold bronze on 

The Burmese always expend a great deal over their 
dead. I took pains one time to enumerate the articles 
borne to a grave. The deceased was only a carpenter's 
wife, yet there passed five maidens with flower pots, five 
with bamboos, two with harps, six with oil jars, eight 
with water jars, eight with pillows, six with mats, ten 
with jars, twelve with cocoa-nuts, ten with bananas, all 
followed by some three hundred people. The house was 
crowded with invited guests, all chatting in lively groups, 
and feasting. The young men were attending outside 
to two immense cauldrons of rice and ciuTy ; the old 
women were making confectionary, and the young women 
preparing loads of betel-leaves. The married men were 
the only class allowed to be idle, and they were looking 
on enjoying the scene. The festival cost the poor man 
many hundred rupees ; but pillows, mats, &c, were 


borrowed from the Kyoungs and returned, — a common 
practice when one is unable to meet the expenses. 
After the burning, a sheet was held over the ashes 
by seven persons, who perambulated the pyre seven 
times, each- time elevating and lowering the sheet. 
The few small bones remaining were then deposited in 
an urn. 

Anciently the Karens always buried their dead. They 
have the old Welsh custom of lighting tapers at the 
head and foot of the grave, and their wail-dirge sounds 
much like the coronach. The chiefs place small darts 
around their pyres to prevent the spirit from returning 
home. They also tie strings across the streams as 
bridges for the ghosts of the departed to get conveniently 
over to their graves. 

At their funerals they engage in a game prefiguring 
the struggle of man with evil spirits, and then chant a 
dirge, recognising the truth that sin brought death. 

In the plastic art the Burmese exhibit some degree of 
skill. Like the ancient Greeks, they colour and drape 
their figures, and frequently provide them with imita- 
tion eyes. Burman bronzes have some of them as 
delicate a green, and appear to be quite as skilfully cast, 
as the bronzes of Egyptian museums. Papier-mache 
work is earned on in Tounghoo, and some of it is 
executed with taste and skill. They understand a 
coarse kind of mosaic in running vines, flowers, a lion, 
peacock, or other simple subject ; but fine mosaic of 
Burmese execution I have never found. Painting on 
glass and ivory is done to perfection by the Mussulmans 


of Delhi, but not much understood by Burmese. Their 
chessmen, however, their ivory-hilted knives, and cocoa- 
nut-shell work, Bhow a good degree of skill in delicate 

Among the beautiful trees on the Sittang river is the 
Nauclea Kadamba, It was Sunday, and Mr. Mason 
had just closed his services under the wide spreading 
branches of this tree, when a little skiff came gliding 
along silent as a wavelet. 

" Ho, brother ! take mama into your skiff?" cried 
my boys. 

The man is a Highlander in his mountain tunic, who 
has never seen a white woman. Quite frightened, he 
pushes on faster and faster; then Shapau hails him, 
and finally succeeds in bringing him to shore. The 
skiff is only big enough for three to sit safely in. So, 
giving my Tutauman the bow, I take the centre. 
Shaupau reads to the boatman the Gospel of St. Mat- 
thew for an hour, steadily, carefully explaining every 
word until he comes to the account of Christ's healing 
the lunatic. Upon this the stranger stops, lays down 
the oar, and, taking up a small joint of bamboo very 
carefully deposited, he empties the whole contents de- 
liberately into the river. 

" There ! brother, I have been twenty miles after 
this Ootee, or charmed water, and paid a rupee for it ; 
but henceforth I worship this Yasu Kriek who healed 
the crazy man !" Is it not " the Sword of the Spirit?" 
There is, far inland, a hidden hamlet, a deep glen 
flanked with mountains. Here we find all the women 

FLEE ! flee! 75 

like Ruth gleaning in the fields, and a high time these 
buccaneer brothers are having over their great fires on 
the shore of the creek, where they are drying their jerked 
deer, having just beat up a huge stag in the thickets, 
and killed him in their bamboo traps, made like a bow 
and arrow loosely covered from view. With great 
wonderment all dropped their work and stood gazing, as 
I stepped down the precipice right over their heads. 

Both men and women listened with attention and 
astonishment to the message of a Saviour's love, and a 
few followed me down to our encampment, promising to 
learn to read. I have never seen them since, but on 
returning from America, two years after, we heard to our 
great joy that they had a flourishing little church in 
that place. " The Lord hath spoken." 

Another Sunday morning we turned to the west, a 
mile over an unreaped rice-field Ml of water, to a hamlet 
of Pwo Karens. Not one would receive us. We sought 
shelter with a poor woman in a stable. Very reluctantly 
she consented to receive us ; for she evidently feared 
some terrible calamity would befall her in consequence. 

We talked and read to her about the poor in body and 
poor in spirit. She seemed interested, and I quite for- 
got that there were buffaloes beside us. Suddenly she 
screamed : " Flee ! flee ! " I had just time to glance 
round, and saw the buffaloes had stretched their noses 
on a straight line, as they always do when about to 
charge, and their eyes burned like coals of fire. 

" Flee! flee ! " cries the woman, snatching her babe ; 
but just at that moment the leader breaks loose, and 


dashes past us so near, that his awful homs graze my 

" Thank God, we 're safe ! " 

" Come in, friend ! come in, friend ! " shout all the 
women at once, and e\ery heart is opened. Mats are 
spread, and they are now disposed to regard as as gods. 

"Look here," says an old woman who passes for an 
eldress, after I have been telling her that Cud is always 
near : 

"Why, the Elders told the Karens the Bame thing, 
and my grandmother used to say, Yuah was like this" — 
waving one hand just above the other. The Omnipre- 
sence of God known to this wild heathen woman ! 

Moored again farther up the Sittang. A woman ap- 
pears on the shore with an eye that 1 cannot mistake ; 
I am sure that is a Pwo Karen, though she is dressed in 
the Talaing robe. 

" Sister," I say, " have you any husband ? " 

"Lady! white lady! you speak Pwo?" Instantly 
she was at my feet, entreating me to go to her house, 
and could scarcely be restrained from bearing me away. 
On reaching her house, I commenced reading the Gospel <->f 
Matthew in her language. With the true Karen spirit 
she could not be content t< < receive so much pleasure alone. 

" Teacheress, read ! read ! " she says to me eagerly, 
having assembled all the neighbours. 

I read the Pwo; she interprets into Talaing, for a 
whole hour, the Talaing women quite as much delighted 
as the Karens; for they never before heard of Christ, 
and not one of them can read at all in any language. 


Suddenly I stop, and strike up in Pwo — 

" Alas, and did my Saviour bleed ?" 

The men, hearing the singing, throw aside their dahs 
and baskets, and assemble around the house, pressing 
up the ladder. 

Hark ! what 's this ? Crack ! crack ! and crash, we 
all go on to the ground ! 

" Read on ! read on ! " cries the Karen woman. 
"Light! light! give us light." S ) there I sit among 
the ruins, and read the stories of the crucifixion and 
resurrection, and certainly I never felt so near the un- 
seen and eternal. We are in the middle of the account 
of Christ casting out devils : 

" What 's that ? what 's that, lady ? Tell that devil 
story again. Yasu Kriek kill the devils ? " 

We read it again when the man — a fine-looking 
Karen of some thirty-five years — steps out : 

" Lady ! lady ! You see this cord (the nat-cord worn 
on the wrist) there ! " wrenching it off, " never again 
will I offer to any lord but Jesus Christ/' This was 
really a very decided act, for usually the nat-cord is the 
last thing Karens will give up. 

On our returning two years after, we learned that 
this man had been baptized, and was the leading deacon 
of a little Christian church in or near his own village. 




I happened to be the first white woman who ever en- 
tered either the city orthe kingdom of Tonnghoo, bo that 
my poor face was as much of a curiosity as the mermaid a 

i'i\\ years ago in America, and all the way ap the vil- 
lagers thronged us to see the wonder, ami disctu 
merits. The great point was whether it was a fair 
specimen of the race. , 

" Wa ! wa ! " exclaims one, "I thought them a great 
deal whiter — but then I dare say many are whiter than 
she is." 

"No, I don't believe they are," joins in a prim young 
belle, sitting so as to look over the first one's shoulder. 
"I didn't think the colah woman very handsome." 

" Hae ! " grumbles a matronly chaperon, as sin- 
some young men approaching: "yon know nothing. 
They're not white like jackets. I dare say sh< 
white as any of 'em." 

" Koungtha ! koungtha ! " cries a gay young fellow, 
jauntily Hinging himself off after a furtive glance. 
"Anglaik very pretty — Burman woman taematke" — 
(very black), with a teasing laugh at the ladies. And 


it really does seem to tease them to see fairer women 
than themselves. 

As Mr. Mason was not ready to go up into the city, 
and wished to wait for the cool of evening, I attempted to 
proceed, thinking I would have time to prepare a com- 
fortable place for his reception. A native of the city 
stepped forward, and very politely volunteered his ser- 
vices as guide to the house, which he professed to know 
all about. 

I followed the man, as it was only about a mile, and 
on he went till he reached the principal street, when he 
began to inquire of everybody where the white lady's 
house was. This, with my being the first white woman 
ever there, attracted such a crowd, it was impossible to 

" Don't you know the place, friend ? " I questioned in 

" Don't know Th'kyen," and vanished out of sight. 
Seeing a good road in front, I escaped from the crowd 
to that, and meeting a Madras servant who could speak 
English, I tried to make him understand my wants. 

" Did some carts go there this morning with tin 
cans ? " he asked. 


"Oh, then, I '11 find it in a minute. Missus, please 

So again I walked on, on ; and soon pale faces began 
to pass, one after another, all in the same style of dress — 
dark trousers, checked shirts, with military forage-caps 
loosely covered with white muslin havelocks. Imme- 


diately it occurred to me that Ave must be drawing near 
the cantonments. As quick as the thought flashed, 1 
stopped short once mure with — 

"Boy, where a/re you going \ " rather sharply. 

" To master, missus. Master kn^ws all about it." 

"And who is your master, pray ! " 

•■ Major H , of the Madras Fusileers. He lives 

close by — right here. Missus, plean come." 

" Oh, no, no/' I replied; but before the words were 
half uttered, he hud whipped out of sight behind an old 
kyoung that looked as if it might possibly have been 
changed into a bungalow. Not earing to meel a stranger 
just there, I instantly turned, and attempted to I 
the wall. But at that moment my Burman servant 
took a fancy to leap off after the Madrasee, thinking he 
would find the house immediately. " Shwaho, Shwaho!" 
I called, but in vain. The last I saw of him was his 
yellow silk patsoe streaming on the air, as he Hew, John 
Gilpin-like, up the street. Finally, I walked straight 
on, as if quite at home, back to the landing, and found 
Mr. Mason wickedly enjoying the spurt, because he did 
not care to have me get into the city before him. He 
had called a Burman cart, and I concluded to patronize 
that, although I had rather any time walk two miles 
than ride one in this vehicle. Wearisomely it dragged 
its slow wheels along. The driver was a malicious- 
looking fellow, and was continually walking his bullocks 
up on to the bank ; but at last we got safely over the 
gullies into the bazaar street, and turned off into a re- 
tired square, where we found an enclosure bounded by a 


bamboo trellis some fourteen feet high, and covered with 
blue flowered creepers. A huge double gate was flung 
open to receive us, and in front of a pleasant green plat 
stood the keep of the former Myusaya, or city recorder. 
This building was our home while we remained. It 
was a true native-built house, of teak, probably a hun- 
dred years old ; sixty-seven feet long, set up seven feet 
from the ground, built in three separate portions, three 
roofs joined together by huge water-spouts of teak. 
The verandah was strongly barricaded, and behind the 
reception-rooms of the master and mistress was the 

Now, imagine this old city on the Sittang, which has 
been shut up three hundred years from all the civilized 
world. Think of a wall five or six miles round, some 
twenty feet high, and thick enough, with the inner em- 
bankment, for a carriage drive. A large brick church 
now stands upon it, with dwelling-houses and palm-trees. 
The wall is constructed with bastions and battlements, 
and with four pagoda turrets, watch-houses for the 
guardians of the city. 

Tounghoo must once have been very handsome, with 
its towers, and spires, and statues ; with its broad, 
regular streets shaded with palms ; its monasteries, 
temples, pagodas, and palace, all surrounded by palms ; 
its many huge gates ; its encircling flagged walk and 
carriage road, and its moat extending clear round the 
city. The moat was said to be sixty yards wide, and 
was filled at any moment by secret channels from a 
beautiful lake within the fort. Then the grand bridges 


across the moat, adorned with statues, rich car 
and the national peacock-emblem, mounted <>n pillars 
in every direction, sixty and eighty feet high ; with 
ma<mificent tanks, caravanserais, and rich rice fields. I 
do not wonder that old Tounghoo in its glory excited 
the rapidity of European adventurers, as Bnrman history 
savs it did. The Portugnese navigators made their way 
up to this city and t""k possession, but the ^"vernor 
lost his life in consequence. Tin- Burmese then held it 
as a principality of Ava until it fell into the hand- of 
the English in I8t 

When we entered Tounghoo, there might bi 
thousand palm-trees counted in and around the city; 
but Tounghoo history says that there were six thousand 
in ancient days. They yield a sweet wine in 
abundance, that is much Boughl after. It is dealt out 
to the troops in daily rations, and much of it is used t<- 
make yeast for bread. 

Most of these trees are planted by the priests, and 
arc. of course, attached to monasteries, especially the 
corypha palm, which supplies the l>o<>k leaf fur the 
priests and schools. The corypha dies immediately after 
it has once blossomed ; but the Burmans affirm that it 
is always a hundred years old before it blossoms. The 
palmyra palm flowers annually after fifteen or twenty 
years. I saw in Tounghoo, in 1853, five or six hundred 
coryphas in blossom all at once, a sight seld"in Been, 
and, of course, as the TanyaJca or "vintage of the palms" 
approached, there were grand times in the city. Every 
where women and children were running, and men walk- 


ing with business-like rapidity, tugging bamboos to 
secure their trees. Palm wine is not obtained like maple 
sap, from the trunk, but from the top of the palm. The 
tree is ascended by a ladder, and just as the fruit begins 
to form, the flower is cut off. The stem is then turned 
down into an earthen vessel, or into a bamboo, which is 
secured to the place by means of a slight frame around 
the tree. When the juice is drawn into an earthen 
vessel, it is sweet ; but if drawn into a joint of bamboo, 
as frequently done, it almost immediately becomes 
intoxicating ; and if it is not sufficiently spirituous, 
the strength is increased by dropping in a few broken 
areca-nuts, when one glass of the liquor will intoxi- 

It is curious to see these men and boys go up the 
tall palm-trees. The bamboo ladder is made about a 
foot wide. The climber has only a patsoe, or cloth, 
girt around his loins, to which is attached his knife, 
threads, ratans, and everything, with a dah, or short 
sword, thrust in behind, and two little earthen chatties. 
He begins to ascend by cording the ladder strongly to 
the trunk for a few feet up, then goes up and ties again, 
so continues tying on the ladder, and ascending at the 
same time. Of course, it is very slender, and looks most 
hazardous, but one ladder would hold up half a dozen 

Each palm yields about seventy-five quarts of sap in 
a season, valued at six rupees, or more, so that two 
thousand trees would yield a revenue of twelve thousand 
rupees, Now, many of the palms have been destroyed 

g 2 


to make room for buildings. Indeed, whole avenues 
were burned down by the priests on the approach of the 
English. The palm-gardens are sold annually at auc- 
tion, for, I think, ten thousand rupees. 

Each tree yields about one hundred and fifty fruits, 
used mostly for sweetmeats ; but I have made tarts or 
pies of the pulpy part, quite as good as pumpkin pies. 
The leaf, of course, is highly valued for writing, 
especially the corypha ; and scrips of palm leaf, with 
Government orders, are common still among the native 

Modern Tonnghoo is mostly built without the walls. 
extending some three miles alonir the river. 

The residences of the officers are a kind of Anglo- 
alhambras, magically fascinating, as everybody -ays 
who comes to Tounghoo. Then the gardens are per- 
fectly charming ; the drives, too, are very pleasant, and 
the ladies of the cantonment daily enjoy them with their 
Shan ponies. 

Tounghoo is a famous mart for ponies, which are 
brought down in great numbers from Monay, a large 
Shan city, a month's journey to the north. They vary 
in price from twenty to five hundred rupees. I have 
seen very good ones bought for thirty rupees, and a pair 
of splended iron-greys for five hundred. 

The officers keep a pleasure boat, and a moon-light 
sail up the Sittang is one of the pleasantest pastimes 
for the English gentlemen and ladies. Game is abun- 
dant in the region east of Tounghoo, and the officers 
often go out shooting, while the ladies spread pic-nics 


for them among the caravanserais of the celebrated Seven 

Tounghoo is well fortified, and the place is strongly 
garrisoned, chiefly by English soldiers, so that an enemy 
could scarcely take it, except by stratagem, cutting off 
the commissariat boats in the river, or by coming in 
stealthily in disguise from the north. 

This city is about two hundred and forty miles north 
of Rangoon, two hundred miles south of Ava, one 
hundred west of Siam, and eighty east of Prome. 
Tounghoo is the capital of a province about eight 
thousand miles square. History says the ancient city 
was founded six hundred years ago by the Karens, 
and even now the province is pretty nearly divided 
between Karens and Burmans. The population is 
estimated at 50,000, including Burmese and Takings, 
and thirty thousand Karens, but there are two hundred 
thousand Karens adjoining these in a state of inde- 

The Karens once occupied the plains of Tounghoo, 
but the Burmese, they say, having a knowledge of books, 
drove them back and took their lands. 

Mr. Mason thus describes the climate of Tounghoo : 

" We have a delightful climate here on the moun- 
tains. It is March, and the thermometer was to-day, at 
sunrise, 58°, the hottest part of the day 84° ; and 
while I write, 10 o'clock p.m., it is 65°. It has not 
been higher than 87° since my arrival, and with one 
exception the mornings and evenings have never been 
hotter. Then we have a fine thermal spring at the foot 


of the hill, particularly good for liver complaints, good 
for consumptives, good for people who have coughs, and 
good for people who have no coughs ; ' good for fevers, 
nervousness, erysipelas, impurity of the blood, inflam- 
mation, melancholy, sick headache, pains in the chest, 
side, back, and limbs ; bilious affections, and all other 
diseases!' What more attractive place for an invalid? 
Then for those who are not invalids, there are the 
steepest mountains to scale that can be found in this 

" After leaving the alluvial plain, near the river, 
not an acre of level grass is to be found anywhere. 
The whole coast is a pile of mountains rising to steep 
ridges, at an average angle of 45°, oftener more than 
less. Sick or well, then, happy or melancholy, send 
your patients to Tounghoo — the sanitarium of Burmah !" 

Teak, rice, and betel-nut are the principal articles of 
export in Tounghoo. Silk is cultivated in some parts 
by a tribe of wild men called Baings, among whom it 
might be very desirable to introduce Christianity. The 
Karens bring in sesamum seed, cardamom, turmeric, 
tobacco, beeswax, honey, swine, oranges, mats, bas- 
kets, ratans, and bamboo; but the most valuable pro- 
duction brought by them is betel-nut, the best in all 

We had been in Tounghoo a short time, when two 
Sgau Karens came in from the western hills. One of 
them wished to learn to read, and stopped with us. His 
name was Sau Kamoo. 

It was only a few mornings afterwards that he came 


up in great agitation, crying out, " They'll kill me ! 
They'll kill me !" 

"Who'll kill you?" 

" The Myuthugyee, or city magistrate." 

" Do right, Sau Kamoo, then trust in God." 

" Oh, mama don't know these Burmans." 

At last I made out his story. He had been waylaid 
by a Burman head-man, who inquired what he was 
doing at the foreigners. 

" Learning books," he answered. 

" A Karen dog learn books \" exclaimed the Burman 
with profound scorn. " See here, wretch. If I catch 
you round in the city after to-morrow, you see this ! " 
brandishing his sword over the trembling Sgau. 

Servant announces, — 

" A peon, ma'am." 

" A peon ! " I go myself to meet the officer. 

" What is it, peon ?" 

" The Karen." 

" Well, what of the Karen ?" 

"The magistrate calls." 

(t Show your paper." 

" Not here, Th'kyen." 

" Then begone. Tell your master to bring his au- 
thority ; but when the Karen goes to court, the white 
lady will go too." 

I send off to the Commissioner, and acquaint him 
with this persecution. 

" Have no fears, Mrs. Mason," he replies, and sends 
me the following; note : — 


" My dear Mrs. Mason, — 

" If you find any slaves in my province, tell them 
they are free to go -where they please, and to learn what 
they please. — E. 0. Ril: y. 

" Commissioner of Tounghoo." 

I transmit a copy to the magistrate, and hear no more 
from him ; but, of course, if we had been under Burmese 
rule, there would have been a very different ending of 
the matter. 

It is the boast of Burman slavery that it is only 
debtor slavery ; but the shrewd Burmans know ways 
enough of increasing the debt to any extent and making 
it utterly unredeemable. So fraudulent and violent were 
they in their dealings with the Karens, that the English 
Commissioner, soon after taking Tounghoo, issued a 
proclamation forbidding any Burmans to enter the hill 
settlements without the permission of the head men, 
and then to leave whenever he chose. 

The governor and recorder had fifty or sixty slaves, 
most of whom were driven off to the north when the 
English were approaching. Some of them had heard 
that the foreigners liberated slaves, and refused to go ; 
but they were caught, and barbarously tortured by 
cramping the hands until the pain was unendurable, and 
so they were forced to flee into perpetual servitude. 

A case occurred near the city soon after we reached 
Tounghoo. A poor fatherless boy was passing through 
a garden, and, being hungry, plucked an ear of corn and 
ate it. The owner saw him, and thinking he would 
make a good field-hand, immediately had him caught, 


and taken before the head man of the district, and 
having slipped a bribe into the hands of the man's wife, 
the case was decided according to his own pleasure. 
The boy was fined twenty rupees, and as they knew he 
could not raise it, he was sold to the chief's son for the 
amount. On hearing of this cruelty, we immediately 
sent a note, saying that if the boy was not released 
within two days, he would be cited before the Commis- 
sioner. He was soon sent home. 

These were our first pupils ; but not one had yet ap- 
peared from the eastern hills, the real Karen land. Time 
was passing, and Mr. Mason began to feel greatly soli- 
citous about it. Finally, I told my tutauman to go and 
stand in the main bazaar road and watch, for I knew 
the Karens must come to the bazaar or market some 
time for salt. He went and watched all day with no 
success. Went again the second day, none appeared. 
Again the third day : 

" Well, Shapau, none to-day ? ' Three times and 
out,' as we used to say when school-children." 

"But I'm not out. Here they are though dreadfully 

He had stood till he saw, on the third day, a small 
number coming with their bamboo spears, fierce, wild, 
and savage-looking. They approached very timidly, 
going round half a mile out of their way to avoid any 
of the English or sepoys. 

" How do you do, brothers ? A white teacher has 
come — a Karen teacher," Shapau said, grasping their 

90 flying snirs. 

They saw he was a Karen, but they could not make 
much of him, for he spoke a dialect different from any 
they had ever heard. They understood a little Burmese, 
and he made them comprehend that a forei<m teacher 

J O 

had come from the west. 

" "We know," they answered. " Did he come in a big 
boat ? " 

" Yes, a long way. He wants to see you." 

" See us ! We know. He wants slaves to put in the 
flying ship. No, no, we don't go. He'll carry us off 
where the sun goes down." 

" But there's a white lady come, the teacher's wife. 
She won't let anybody carry you off. Brothers, come 
and see !" 

" Oh no, no. Where are the flying ships ? " 

" Why, the ships are gone home again." 

" Aye, gone ? " 

"Yes, brothers, don't fear. Come and see. You'll 
love the teachers." 

At last he succeeded in coaxing along three, and there 
they sat, canine style, before the gate. I went out, and 
offered them my hand, but they had no idea what for. 
Finally, they ventured into the house, and how their 
eyes did open, when they saw the slave child learning to 
read, and Karen books too ! They seemed like beings 
wild with delight, yet their emotions were visible only 
by their eyes and rapid talking one with another. 
They gazed at me as if I had just dropped down from 
the moon, and when I made them up each a little roll 
of salt, they quite forgot the flyimr ship. 

yuah's words. 91 

We asked after their home, and they pointed to the 
distant hills. We inquired how many days it took them 
to come, and they counted three fingers. 

We asked how many houses there were in their vil- 
lage, and they held up one finger. 

We asked how many in the house, and they spread 
out all their fingers and toes, then clapped their hands 
twice, then held up all their fingers again. " Knaza, 
fifty," I said, in Burmese, when they nodded, much 
pleased that I comprehended them. 

Suddenly, as they were about leaving, I felt impelled 
to send out the little book which Mr. Mason had pre- 
pared in Karen many years before — the " Sayings of the 
Elders." I told Shwa Moung to write on the fly-leaf 
in Burmese : " Yuah's Words come back to the Karens," 
and bade one of the young men go over the mountains 
and show it to all his countrymen. Mr. Mason stood 
by, smiling approval, but neither of us had much idea 
then of the results ; and yet I felt a hidden assurance 
that God would bless it. 

Days passed, however, and I believe weeks, and no 
Karens came again. Once or twice Mr. Mason rallied 
me about my " Faith book," but finally it was quite 
forgotten amid the deeply interesting scenes with the 
Burmese, who filled our house daily to overflowing, and 
kept Mr. Mason preaching from morning till evening. 

Every Burman officer, great and small, from all the 
region around, came to pay his respects — not, however, 
until they heard of the proclamation given regarding 
the Karens, when they concluded that I was " the 


Queen's sister ! " (their expression for a favourite with 
the Government). This perhaps led the nobility to 
come; but the poor also flocked in, and we had reason 
to believe they came from a true desire to hear of the 
new religion. Some of my interviews with the women 
were thrilling, and excited me so that I could scarcely 
sleep or eat. One day I was talking to a h 
full of women, through my inter] niter, for I could not 
speak Burmese, when a tall handsome man rose up from 
the door, where he had been .sitting unnoticed in the 

" Lady, lady, let me tell that," he exclaimed, and he 
began and narrated a history of the creation and fall, as 
perfectly as any Christian could. 

Mr. Mason was deeply interested in this man. He 
stated that he was an officer in the last war with the 
English and Burmese; that his son was killed by a 
shell on the taking of Shwadagon. He was seeking t'^r 
his dead boy on the battle-field, when he saw a white 
book on the ground. He clapped it into his bag, and 
after interring the remains of his son, he started back in 
his boat for Tounghoo. There, lonely and sad, the 
white book recurred to him. He took' it out. It was 
the first paper book he had ever seen, and he was led 
to notice it on account of its whiteness, and its being 
there so like a spirit, he thought, beside his boy. 

" Wonder if Moung can read this ? " he said to him- 
self. He throws aside the oar, flings his mat down on. 
the bottom of the boat, and there, drifting on the river 
alone with his God, he read that Christian tract. It 


was " The Balance," by Dr. Judson. He reached home. 
His wife and daughter came, eagerly inquiring for the 

" Gone — gone with the dead. The god let him die. 
Why should we worship ? " and then he took out the 
book, and read to them. It comforted them too, and 
so whenever they felt distressed about their dear boy, 
they would take out the white book, which seemed 
almost to take his place in their affections. 

To our great surprise and joy, this man's wife and a 
beautiful daughter, I should think of sixteen, came for- 
ward, and corroborated all the officer had stated ; and 
he immediately said, like the Ethiopian officer, — " See, 
here is water : what doth hinder me to be baptized ? " I 
have ever since wished that they had been received, but 
it was so sudden, and as Mr. Mason was just leaving, 
he counselled them to study the Scriptures, and defer 
the ordinance until he should return. The wife and 
daughter, too, came forward before our houseful of Bur- 
mese, and applied for baptism. The daughter had 
learned to read on purpose to read the white book her- 
self, and I have no doubt is now a hidden Bible-reader 
in the interior of that dark empire. 

On our return we found the family had gone, — had 
been driven away, without doubt, on account of their 
new faith ; for the magistrates well remembered the 
man, and spoke of him as that Yazu Kreik man. 

We heard of him in Baumo trading, but he still had 
the tract, and went everywhere reading to the people, so 
that he was known as the " White Book Man." 


I think it was some three weeks after I Bent ont the 
little Karen book, that we were assembled for prayer 
with the Burmese, when a company of Kan us appeared. 
They came up at once to the verandah as if Bent for, 
and seeing us at prayer, they bowed down with th 
At the close, the leader, a white-haired, majestic chief- 
tain, came forward very respectfully and laid before me 
a roll of plaintain leaves. Then, after gazing into my 
face very intently, he began Blowly t" anroR Fold 
after fold was laid aside, and last he came to a dry leaf. 

Out of which he took the identical little 1 k that I had 

sent out ! 

" Will the lady explain '" he asks, reaching forward, 
"A real little dove!" Mr. Mason .-aid. after his 
quiet, intense manner, his eyes brimming with emotion, 
while my own ran down with tears of joy and thankful 
ness. Mr. Mason immediately hrought out the Harm 
Bible, and read to the chief the first chapter of I 
and though it was a dialect somewhat different from 
his own, he understood that it was in Karen, and told 
their own traditions. He clasped the book to his heart 
and howed down before it three times, exclaiming, — 
" It has a spirit ! It talks Karen ! It talks Karen ! " 
He then brought out a little roll of 1- u an 

offering to the spirit of the book ; beeswax, or candles, 
being a most sacred offerinc: to the eods. 

This chief was an old Nat worshipper, and had been 
a kidnapper, but he returned to his village a preacher of 
righteousness. His people never again made offerings 
to the Nats, and the first Christian church organized in 


Tounghoo was, I believe, in his village, where, and in 
the adjacent villages, there are now a thousand redeemed 
heathen sending up their anthems to Jehovah. 

Of course, the tiny book had very little to do with the 
matter. It was an olive leaf, as Mr. Mason said, and 
no more ; but God uses such a small thing, just as He 
did the clay and the spittle, to show forth more mightily 
His own power and Godhead. 

"The Morning Star of Tounghoo!" Mr. Mason 
said with his quiet thoughtfulness again, as the chief 

We had gone up amidst great unbelief on the part of 
our friends, but still hearing the voice : " Go up. Ye 
shall not fear them, for the Lord your God He shall 
fight for you." And now, in this visit of the high- 
lander., we recognised the bow and beheld the Angel of 
the Covenant. 




There came in one day a tall, light-brown chief- 
tain, with large melancholy eyes, and an uncommonly 
pleasing countenance, habited in a striped cotton 
tunic, girded around him like a Highland kilt. His 
costume and bearing were not very unlike that of a 
Highlander I once met on Loch Lomond. His long, 
black, shaggy hair was half confined by a narrow red 
turban, and a curious shaped basket was hung over his 
back. He carried a long bamboo spear, which served 
both for a weapon and a staff. Eight or ten swarthy 
six-foot mountaineers, attired like himself, accompanied 
him. These men had none of the ingeniousness visible 
in the leader ; but their eyes were ever restless, as if on 
the alert for a foe. 

" Has God's Son come down from heaven, lady ? A 
man told us so on the mountains, and we've come to see 

" Yes, brother, but — " 

" Where is He ?" interrupting with eager eyes. " Is 
He here ? In Rangoon ? In Bengala ? Tell us quick, 
lady, for we've come to see Him ! " 


" He has come — sit down, brother — He has cjnie, 
but He's not here. He's gone back to heaven, but — " 

Instantly the tall chieftain turned and strode away 
with all his followers. 

" Stop ! stop, brother ! He has left a letter for you," 
I called after him. 

No answer — on he goes, and disappears. In about a 
week he returns. 

" Lady ! good lady !" he calls, putting his head in at 
the open door. This time he accepts a seat, and throw- 
ing off all reserve, tells me his country's history. There 
is something peculiarly striking and original in his 
words and manner. He is all soul and fire, mingled 
with the most persuasive grace and a handsome figure, 
with a very high brow. 

As I sit listening to his painful romance, the palm sha- 
dows fall in colonnades around me, and the sky and earth 
meet and mingle in one deep golden glow. All is still, 
save the low, murmuring voice of the Highlander, and 
fancy throws together his romantic tales, uttered now in 
prose, and now in hurried rhymes in his own tongue. 


This Minstrel Chief had often known 
The pain that waken'd sorrow's tone, 
The pang that wrung the bitter groan, 
The suffering deep, borne all alone, 
Yet borne it patiently. 

" I've seen," he said, "my clansmen part 
Driven in chains to the debtor's mart, 
Beneath the lash to toil and smart, 



Or droop and die of a broken heart, 
Yet strange, / did not die. 

" One had a wife — a dark-eyed bride — 
How did his heart beat by her side — 
Or when she near would softly glide, 
Spreading repast at eventide 
In her sweet, winning way ! 

" He saw her look, as she fondly smiled, 
Suddenly changed to terrors wild ; 
He saw her limbs with fetters piled — 
Her arms outstretch'd for her infant child, 
Then snatch' d away. 

"He saw it all — God ! what pain 
Upheaved, and burn'd his madden' d brain 

Convulsive, fierce, he grasped her chain — 
Vaunting, they flung him back again — 
He senseless lay. 

" Deep sunk that wrong as a burning dart, 
He could not from her image part ; 
At midnight still he'll often start, 
And think to clasp her to his heart, 
J3ut clasp the air. 

" He'll watch each form with features fair, 
Each beauteous head of raven hair, 
Then round on all will wildly stare, 
Or his own dark locks with anguish tear, 
To find her never there. 

" He's sought her far, he's sought her near, 
Where tigers prowl he has has no fear — 
Will stand for hours and list to hear 
Aught that recals that voice so dear, 
Then sink in dumb despair. 


"Time now has lull'd this cankering pain, 
And reason calm'd his throbbing brain ; 
But still hot tears will pour again, 
Which a heart like his can ne 'er restrain, 
Over his lonely prayer." 

Again the Minstrel glanced his eye, 
To mark if any Burman high 
Should be behind, or drawing nigh, 
To hear the tone, or note the sigh 
Of wrong and misery. 

And finding none but friends around, 
With an alter'd look and an alter'd sound, 

That spoke the Highland fire, 
Boldly he pitch'd his voice again — 
Boldly he sung of Shembuyen, 

Striking the martial lyre. 

Kyouk Long ! — dreaded name — how the echoes groan ! 
While the monk counts his beads in an under tone, 
And if one ever dares the fiend's story to tell, 
The abbess hides quick in her cloister cell. 

They say — I don't know — 'tis a horrible story, 

That puts to the blush all our legends hoary, 

How he called a fair maid from the fairest Shan daughter's 

To join him on Ava's soft, murmuring waters. 

"Do you love me?" he cried in a ruffian tone, 
As she crouch'd at his feet there all alone ; 
" Do you love me, maid ? speak quick and be free ; 
For / am no lover of courtesy." 

"Yes, my lord," she breath'd with a stifled sigh, 
Though tears almost blinded her beautiful eye : 

H 2 


" I will serve my lord if he bid till I die," 
She murnmr'd so low and falteriiigly. 

" Then up," quoth the Chief, " and come to my side, 
I'll make thee my bridt. — my headsman bride — 
We'll brim the red beaker, we'll brim it long, 
And the Nats shall join in our nuptial song ! " 

Then opening a case in his low, thatch'd room, 
There clanking with amiour, and frowning with gloom, 
He drew forth the bridals — strange suit for a maid — 
Red turban, and jacket, and glittering blade ! 

" Don this, my maid ; this never can hide 

The lip of my bride — my warrior bride — " 

Then his baldrick he snatch'd from the beam above, 

Buckling it to her with, " Love, maid, love ! " 

His swarthy arm around her was thrown, 
Her tresses fell back, and were loosely blown ; 
" Oh, Heaven ! " she cried, as backward she shrunk, 
And low at his feet in agony sunk. 

" What 1 ho, slave, up ! No tears with me, 
H'e two are for foray and revelry ; 
Look to your weapon, nor heed ye a groan : 
If ye blench at blood, it shall drink your own ! " 

Now hark ! a moan, a moan ! 
Again, a stifled groan ! 
Five noble heads are on the ground, 
Hot orphan-tears are bubbling round — 
To Moung Kyouk Long a welcome sound : 
The headsman bride is standing by, 
Quivers on her lip the pleading sigh, 
She dare not pray, she dare not cry, 
Nor seek a pitying eye. 


'Twas thus that pass'd this Ava chief, 
Scathing the land past all belief, 
Shooting, spearing, branding, flaying, 
Every day some Burman slaying ; 
And this poor girl, the headsman bride, 

Coop'd in his tiger den, 
Was forced to travel by his side, 
To sing, and dance, and wander wide, 

And slay her threescore men. 

Moung Kyouk Long was the Commander-in-Chief 
of the Burman forces on the Sittang river, east of the 
Irrawaddy, during the last war between the English and 
the Burmese. He was the Queen's brother, a most cruel 
tyrant ; and the story related above is true. He did com- 
pel a Shan girl to follow him as executioner for noble- 
men, so as to inflict upon them the shame of dying by 
the hand of a woman. In Shwagyn the tyrant drove 
many Burmans to despair, by taking from them their 
young brides. One swore revenge, and attempted to 
escape to Ava to report him to government. He was 
brought back and flayed alive, and his body impaled by 
the river, where the English found it on entering the 
city. The wretch was subsequently thrown into prison 
at Ava, and, I believe, left to starve. The poor girl 
was at last set free, but she was almost a maniac, she 
had suffered so terribly. 



Xnw away, ye Natsoes!* ye wild Elfin stories, 
Ye Poongyees and Zaidees, and all idol glories, 
Meukaule is conquer'd, his banner La furlM, 
And God re-appearing, encircles the world ! 

The Christian has triumph'd, our nation is free ! 
Oh, hail it, ye brothers I hail, hail lilierty! 
Yes, liberty ! lilierty ! Bound it along ! 
Unfurl the new banner with trumpet and song ! 

No more shall we groan with our bondage and " 
Or writhe in the grasp of .>ur merciless 
No more shall the slave-fetter tarnish our name, 
Or the "One God" prophet be branded with shame. 

No, come now ye Wise Men and sing of salvation, 
I' 1'inption ! redemption to ever}' nation ! 
" The Book" is come back to us ! clasp it for ever, 
And bear it triumphant o'er jungle and river! 

And I see — oh, I see, to this glorious fountain. 
They run from the valley, they leap from the mountain ! 
They come — for a Saviour for sinners is bleeding ! 
They come — for a Saviour in mercy is pleading ! 

Light! light down the future is rapidly streaming ! 
The East and the West with its glory are beaming ; 
All nations are looking — all nations are ben 
And praise to Jehovah from all is ascending ! 

The Karens were enslaved by the Burmese, and ti. 
has been during all the Burnian rule a perpetual struiiL r l<' 

* Natsoes — Demons. Poongyees and Zaidees — Priests and pagodas. 
M< uJcaule — The Karen for Satan. 

"THE BOOK." 103 

between them, the Burmese seeking, by every power, 
by craft, and by their superior knowledge of books, to 
bind them in servitude ; the Karens, on the other hand, 
fighting for freedom, and struggling to maintain their 
own rights and lands, or fleeing from them to inacces- 
sible glens and fastnesses in the mountains. There was 
no hope left for them, and nothing to excite them to 
rise, for as soon as one obtained any property, their 
sharp-eyed officials were down upon them, and nothing 
but ruinous bribes could secure to them a single comfort. 
They have ever had seers and wise men among them 
instructing them in their biblical traditions, and be- 
cause of these traditions and these priests, they have 
often been made to suffer by their idolatrous rulers. 

" The Book " of the Karens, the only one they seem 
to have any remembrance of, contained the words of 
Jehovah. Their wise men say there were seven brothers, 
and they, the younger, had God's word on skins. They 
were careless, laid it at the foot of a plaintain-tree, and 
the White Brother carried it off, and by it became the 
favourite son of God. This looks much like the story 
of Jacob and Esau. They fully believe the White 
Brother is to bring it back to them from north-western 

Of course, the minstrel did not utter all this exactly 
as it is here written. He told it to me mostly in 
prose, and through an interpreter, but with such poetic 
fire and inspiration, it moved me to pencil it down 
that very night, almost word for word, as I here give it. 

This chieftain was son-in-law to the high chief of the 


Mopaga tribe. He came to see me, I think, every week 
after this interview, and listened with intense interest 
to the Scriptures. He was soon afterwards baptized, 
and has since been one of the warmest advocates for 
female education. In 18.39 he was made captain of one 
of the Karen companies in the Tounghoo Military. 




" Karens have books ! " say the minstrel and his 
warriors. They hear the children reading. Wonderful ! 
wonderful ! 

" Lady, lady, hear! We like this. It hits our 
hearts. Give us rice ; just one meal. "We will keep 
your Holy Day and worship. We wish to hear, but 
we are poor men. Lady, hear ! Yonder on those 
mountains are our wives, our little ones. Lady, we 
cannot buy. If we buy and stay here idle, our wives 
and our little ones will die. Pity us, good lady. We 
have only mats, baskets, and seeds. Lady, hear ! 
Give us to eat just once, only once. We will fast the 

This pleading came from the lips of half a dozen tall, 
armed chieftains from the hills of Tounghoo. We had 
been telling them they should keep the Sabbath-day 
holy, and not return on that day. 

What could I do ? " May I give them rice V s I 
questioned eagerly of my husband. 

" You cannot There is not a rupee in the treasury 
for any such purpose." 


" Husband, God will send it. Only say I may try," 
I plead again. 

" It is certainly rash ; but if you must go to work on 
faith, then go to work." 

Oh, how my heart bounded ! How happy I was I 
shall not try to tell you, reader ; but immediately I 
bought a basket, five feet square, filled it with rice, and 
bought also two dozen rice chatties or cooking puts. 
Then I stood beside it, and saw it measured out, so 
that each man had enough for one meal, with a little 
fish and salt. Each group of ten were provided with 
cooking vessels. Of course, they cooked for themselves, 
and this first day cost me about ten dollars, or twenty- 
one rupees. 

So it continued for four weeks. But, then, what was 
gained ? Just this. Crowds of heathen men, some 
heads of families and of villages, have listened four 
Sabbath-days and nights to the Scriptures — listened, 
too, as few heathens ever do listen, quietly and solemnly. 

At night they strewed the floor all over every room 
but our own bed-room, so that I was obliged to tell 
them to pull up their heels to make a path for me to go 
through, for they put heads together and heels together 
as close as they could stow themselves. The interest 
manifested was intense — burning, past all description. 
Our six native preachers were planted over the whole 
area, one in each corner, their own arrangement, and 
there they would lie and question, the assistants 
answering, till it seemed as if they must be utterly 
worn out. 


" You say this wonderful man is God's Son. How 
do you know ? Did you ever see Him ? Did He come 
down in your country — in the Anglaik land, in Ran- 
goon, or Bengal ? Did you ever see anybody that did 
see Him ? How do you know your book is true ? You 
tell us God's Spirit is like the wind, but which wind 1 
We have north wind, south wind, cold wind, hot wind — 
is God changing like the wind?" All these, and a 
thousand other questions just as strange, were asked in 
rapid succession ; so that the last thing when I lay 
down at an hour past midnight, and the first when I 
awoke at five o'clock, would be these same wild but close 
questionings, showing that the Holy Spirit was doing 
His work on the earth. 

Four Sundays have gone by — the most interesting, 
thrillingly interesting Sundays I ever knew, but my bill 
for rice has run up to many dollars. I cannot go on, 
small as the gift is ; so on Monday morning I begin 
speaking to every company that comes in, asking if they 
cannot help me to fill up the basket. 

" It is so little," I say, " that I have supplied, I am 
ashamed to mention it ; but I have no more money." 

What is it that has so touched those savage hearts ? 
Why do tears start under those sun-crisped locks ? Oh! 
sympathy, that blessed angel, has descended, and now 
the image of God comes out. If there is anything left 
in the likeness of Christ upon earth, it is sympathy. 

" I have no money," says one, "but would a mat 
do ?" he asked very timidly. 

" Oh yes, give a mat ; anything will do." 


" I can give a basket. Will the white lady accept a 

" Yes, brother, bring your basket/' 

" Brother, bring mama that honey," says a chief, 
pointing to a bamboo joint he had set up against the 

" Here is a bit of beeswax," says a fourth, fumbling 
in his wallet. 

So the flame catches, spreads, and soon the report flies 
over the hills : " Mama has got an eating-basket, and 
anybody can put in whatever he likes." 

This showed just what the Karens wanted in Toun- 
ghoo — a head — a responsible leader to inspire them ; 
plan for them at first, and step by step raise them 

It was not a very pleasant thing, indeed, to have our 
house full of such filthy, vermin-covered figures as the 
Karens of Tounghoo then presented. I recollect a lady 
in the States could not allow a trunk in her house 
that had come from Burmah, lest it should bring roaches 
into her rooms ; and it was hard at first for me to ac- 
custom myself to all the unpleasant sights and smells 
in our own house, and over our own well. But what 
are such little self-denials by the side of the Brook 
Kedron ? 

Our four slave children were hard at their studies, 
attracting the gaze of every strange mountaineer that 
ventured to put his head in at the doorway. 

Next comes the earnest entreaty : 

" Mama, teach my son." 


" And mine. Please pity us." 

Again comes the trial of faith. " May I, dear hus- 
band, take a few?" 

" How can you ? There are no funds." 

" It shall not cost the mission a cent, — a single cent, 
— only say yes." 

" Well, yes. Try, if you will, what you can do." 

"What is it, lady?" 

" You must promise to bring down the very best 
young men that you have, and let them become 

Whispering — stammering — " Can't do that, good 
lady. Can't give my son for a Sahib." 

" Nor I," joins another, and another. 

I suggest to them to go and think till morning, for I 
can take them in no other way. 

At early dawn half a dozen heads peer through the 

" Lady, white lady, very good — very good/' 

Giving them a piece of chalk, I request them to mark 
out their country on the floor. They do so, amid much 
merriment, of course. Then, dividing it into twelve 
parts, I tell them they may bring twelve young men, 
one from each district, that is all I can take, and 
if they should bring slow learners, they won't do at 

A few days pass, and the young mountain chivalry 
stalk up to the verandah with their short tunics, their 
long streaming hair, and their baskets strapped upon 
their foreheads. I have to put them immediately into 


quarantine, until they Lave taken one thorough lesson 
at the hath. 

Taking up the soap, one of the party, a wild Bghai, 
bites it, then flings it spitefully into the hedge. Finally, 
Shapau succeeds, by setting the example himself, in per- 
suading them to try the soap, which, in the end, perfectly 
delights the whole party. 

The young men are hard at work, but how ? I have 
to speak to them in Pwo. My interpreter tells them in 
Burmese, which is all Latin t>> them : then they learn 
the Sgau Bible, while they themselves are Pakus, Mo- 
pagas, and Bghais. But strange truth, and as < i 
raging as strange, in two months these young men can 
all read quite correctly, and with a goi 1 ■ 

The whole cost of the twelve young men, and of the 
foul" Sunday feedings, I have assumed entirely myself 
and without knowing the least where I shall find a 
penny. I ask for it, though, every day of One who I 
know has it in Iiis treasury, and never for a moment 
doubt but it will come. "If ye abide in me, and my 
words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it 
shall be done unto you." This is my bank bock. 

A fortnight goes by. A Colonel calls with his Lieu- 
tenant. The younger officer hands me ten rupees, which 
calls forth this little answer : 
" Lieut. J. P. Maud : 

" My dear Sir, — Somebody says, ' llunning streams 
are always clear.' 

'• I can readily see why you feel an interest in the 

god's rewards. Ill 

salvation of the heathen ; you have kept the sympathies 
of the heart clear hy outgoing, and I am sure the hun- 
dred-fold reward will be yours, for nobody ever yet lost 
by investing in God's mission-bank. 

" My husband has translated the Bible for the Karens, 
but it remains a sealed Word to them until they are 
taught to read it, and not one can yet read in all this 
Tounghoo province. I can but recognise in your 
thoughtful and kind donation the hand of an over-ruling 

I then alluded to an incident in the life of one of the 
principal civilians then in Burmah, who took an orphan 
child, an East Indian, left to grow up in heathen igno- 
rance, educated her, and thereby saved her from tempo- 
ral and eternal ruin. 

I believed it was one secret of that officer's success in 
life, which had been very remarkable. 

What was my surprise to receive the following : — 
" My dear Mrs. Mason, — Now that I know your 
work, I shall use every effort in my power to assist you 
myself, and get others to do the same. It is a sin to 
see a theatre springing up in Tounghoo, where no Chris- 
tian temple has yet been raised to the God of our salva- 
tion. Many subscribe liberally to theatres and races 
from mere thoughtlessness, and need but a word to 
stimulate them to higher purposes. As I have a dear 
sister, perhaps you will kindly name the little slave girl 
after her, and I will send you every month ten rupees 
for her and the boys. — Believe me, dear Mrs. Mason, 
very sincerely yours, J. P. Maud, 5th M.N.I." 


Nor is it a sudden or idle start with this young 
officer. He sets to work, goes himself from kyoung to 
kyoung, for the officers then in Tounghoo all lived in 
kyoungs, raised a subscription, and relieved me of my 
pecuniary embarrassment. Thanks to God, and thanks 
to his kind heart ! I have never seen him since we 
left Tounghoo, a month or two after, but I cannot think 
of his brave, unselfish spirit without remembering that 
to him belongs the honour, under God, of establishing 
the first Christian school in Tounghoo. 

Mr. Mason was much struck with the reply of one of 
the young men in this school. The question arose as to 
where each should go to commence his teaching, when 
one, laying his hand firmly upon the Bible, said, — 

" I know where I shall go. I go where the Hvhj 
Book goes." We had but one copy of the whole Karen 
Bible in Tounghoo. This man was a Bghai Karen, the 
first Bghai that had ever learned to read, and lie did as 
he said, followed the Bible, and sat down beside it until 
he was baptized and sent to a foreign tribe ; and you 
will hear from him again by and by. 

Until Mr. Mason went up to Tounghoo, only two clans 
of Karens were known. Red Karens had been heard of, 
but travellers thought them Shans. Kali Kyens had 
been heard of, but they too are still thought to be Shans. 
Books had been introduced among the only two clans 
known, Sgau and Pwo. 

The Karen nation is broken into three great classes, 
each class comprising many clans and sub-clans. Two 
classes are called the Two, or "Mother Branch," and 


the other the Sgau or " Father Branch." The Pwo 
Class has more or less of the nasal sound in its lanQoiag-e, 
while the Sgau Class has none. The Pwo Class embraces 
Pwos, Mopagas, Sanches, Hershoos, Gaykos, and all 
the mother Pwos above Tountrhoo. The Sg-au Class 
embraces Sgaus, Pakus, Mauniepagas, and Wewaus. 
The third, and largest class yet known, is the Bghai, 
embracing Tunic Bghais, Pant Bghais, and Red Karens, 
but it is probable that many more will yet appear as the 
country opens. The Kah Kyens are undoubtedly the 
chief Karens, as the name implies. The Kyens will, 
perhaps, be found to be an offshoot from this nation, 
and the Kemmes of Arracan another branch. These 
classes differ a good deal in their habits of life ; the 
Pwos claim to be the princes. They seek the plains 
and surrounding mountains, and are great hunters. 
They build mostly in separate houses, but in the-Tenas- 
serim mountains I found their houses built long enough 
for three families, divided into compartments, each divi- 
sion in tent-shape. This may have arisen from their 
old Syrian custom of demanding the services of the son- 
in-law three years for his wife. 

The Pwos generally are better livers than the Sgaus, 
and bear in their figure, manner, physiognomy, and all 
about them the air of princes. 

The Mopagas come next on the north in this class. 
They are a small clan, or part of a clan, so far as yet 
known, and they very closely resemble the Pwos in 
physiognomy and independent manners. They are not 
herdsmen, but a race of hunters, especially bee-hunters. 



The other tribes of the Pwo class are as yet but little 
known. The Sgaus in their songs boast that 

" As Sgaus have the words of Jehovah, 
Sgaus wall pay no h.^e for killing a Pwo." 

The Sgau- speaking class is docile, peaceable, and 
much given to husbandry. Karens of this class live in 
separate houses, with gardens attached. They cultivate 
oranges and betel-nuts in abundance, with yams, 
beans, and cotton. With a little encouragement and 
patience they would supply all Old and New England 
with cotton. 

The Bghais are the most wild and singular of these 
clans. No stranger is admitted into their villages with- 
out a guide, and even then he has his quarters assigned 
him, and must remain there and eat of every dish set 
before him. It is the duty of every family in the village 
to carry him something as a mark of hospitality ; 
to refuse it would be to declare war at once. Sick or 
well, hungry or satiated, it matters not, eat he must of 
every dish — dog-curries and all. If he refuses a single 
one, it is a slight to their hospitality, and he is a spy in 
the camp ; but if he submits with grace to these feudal 
customs, he becomes their friend, and the honour of the 
whole village is concerned in his protection ; a custom 
common, I believe, among the North American Indians. 
They had a place on the mountains where they brought 
blankets, betel-bags, mats, baskets, &c, to barter for 
handkerchiefs, turbans, coin, knives, sugar, and salt. 
The Burmans are particularly fond of using false weights 

ROB roy's rock. 115 

and measures, but they never dared attempt it at this 
mountain bazaar. If they did, death was the penalty 
without judge or jury. 

At this place the Bghais used to settle all disputes, 
and compel the Burmese to do them justice, like Rob 
Roy and the Lowlanders. I was reminded of the simi- 
larity of this custom to those of the ancient Scots. 
Once, on Loch Lomond, a Highlander pointed out to me 
Rob Roy's rock. " Here," said he, " Rob would take 
the Lowlanders, and say, 'An is it that ye '11 gie me 
twenty black coos ? An is it no that ye say ? Then 
say y'r prayers quick, and be aff/ and over they went," 
said my informant — himself a Macgregor, in kilt and 
plaid and long stockings, — "over they went into the deep, 
black hole that ye see yonder." Many are the stories 
that the Burmans tell of the Rob Roy khans of their 
mountains, and there is certainly much in their bearing 
and feeling that reminds one of the old Scottish clans. 

i 2 




The Bghai Karens have some peculiarities of dress 
not observed in the costume of the other clans. For a 
head-ornament they wear a huge boar-tusk set in copper, 
with bells of the same metal attached. This is secured 
to a knot of hair, and worn on the crown of the head, 
the horn upwards. It is worn only by men, and just as 
white men adorn themselves with stars and ribbons to 
show the world their bravery. They also wear little 
bells attached to their pantaloons. 

Bracelets and bangles are worn both by men and 
women. These are usually manufactured of copper and 
zinc, and one individual will sometimes wear several 
pounds weight besides eight or ten chains of beads, and 
forty or fifty rings of horse hair on the wrists and just 
below the knee, like the old Welsh knee-bands. I have 
seen Karen women with ear-knobs of ebony as large as a 
silver dollar, so bright as to be used for mirrors ; and I 
saw a Siam Karen chief, in the mountains near Siam, 
with cylinders in his ears as much as two inches long, 
and I think an inch and a half in diameter. 

The native Karen dress will, in a few years, become 


almost extinct, like that of Scotland, for, like ourselves, 
they have a great love for foreign manufactures. With 
the Pwos it has been already superseded by the Bur- 
mese, but the tribes of Tounghoo are rapidly adopting 
a sort of Anglo-Shan costume, very comfortable and 

As the Scottish chiefs had distinguishing plaids to 
mark their clans, so the Karens have clan emblems on 
their dress. The general costume of both the Pwos 
and the Sgaus is merely a loose tunic, reaching just be- 
low the knee, but often for chiefs made down to the 
ancles. These tunics are simply two breadths of cloth 
sewed together so as to leave holes for the head and arms, 
and are worn sometimes falling off one arm. They are, 
as nearly as possible, like the tunics figured on the bas- 
reliefs from Nineveh that I saw in the British Museum. 
The betel-box and purse are carried in a handsome 
wrought bag. 

I am told that the Cosyahs of Upper India also wear 
the same style of dress ; and Major Biddulf, of India, 
who had travelled among them, told me they were striped 
with red, blue, and white, and sometimes with red and 
blue, with fringes and tassels, like the Karens. I have 
wondered if the patterns on Karen dress were not hiero- 
glyphical, a branch of the picture-writing of Egypt and 

The Mopaga tunic has very narrow perpendicular 
stripes of a brilliant red. The Bghai has a wider stripe 
of a duller red. The Sgaus and Pakus are plain, but 
the borders of each are their chief feature. The Mopaga 


border is from two to four inches in depth, closely 
wrought with silk in beautiful vines and characters. 
The Mauniepagas weave theirs in narrow stripes, in a 
great variety of patterns. The Sgaus sometimes weave 
a border twelve or fifteen inches deep, of circular stripes 
and laboured patterns, and again, others a foot and a 
half deep, of entire scarlet silk floss. These are common 
on the western hills of Tounghoo. The most delicate 
little vine-patterns creep round the neck and arm-holes. 

The Karen woman's dress consists of two garments, a 
robe and jacket ; the Pwo robe is striped circularly, the 
Mopaga perpendicularly. Their border is often of work 
that would vie with almost any tiling in the looms of the 
West. The Karen robe is whole, girt straight around 
the waist, and tucked into one large fold. The jacket 
is very pretty. The Pwos and Sgaus embroider over a 
ground of blue, the Bghais over white. The Pwo jacket 
is always wrought with brilliant silk floss, and a girl 
will be a year in embroidering one. The work seems to 
represent a sunrise, and the shading and blending are 
most beautiful. Its usual price in Dong Yahn is ten 
rupees. The Sgau jacket, on the contrary, seems to 
represent evening, with all the stars coming out on the 
deep blue sky. These stars are made very perfectly of 
long white seeds, like rays. The Bghai woman's jacket 
is woven, not wrought, with a nap of scarlet floss up to 
the armpits, then a crescent and seven rays over the 
bosom and down the back. 

The Pant-Bghai men wear loose white pantaloons only 
eighteen inches long, wrought with rich silk borders. 


They certainly excel in the arts of dyeing and weaving, 
and they understand perfectly the use of mordants, so 
that they can make as brilliant and durable a purple as 
Lydia, or 'any of the dames of Tyre. 

These relics of a higher state of the arts point to the 
north-west, and seem to prove that the Karens were once 
in a higher position than at present. So their bamboo 
work seems to point to a higher knowledge of weaving 
and architecture. They weave in this a great many 

I once met a Chief on the Tenasserim river in Tavoy 
Province, with a robe like the Hebrew High Priest, all 
tasseled. This man had three wives, all of whom 
refused utterly to go to the Christian worship till he 
gave them a sound beating. Then they went to chapel, 
and one was converted ! This was the old Chief who 
became a Christian, and had to give up two of his wives. 
One, the oldest, was sickly, and the youngest very 
pretty. He referred it to the church to say which he 
should keep, and they decided that he had a right to 
retain the youngest, so he concluded to do so. Then 
his conscience troubled him, and he finally resolved that 
as somebody else might be willing to take the young, 
pretty wife, but nobody would pity the feeble, sick one, 
he ought to keep the old one ; so he did, and put away 
the younger. 

The Karens, like all demon worshippers, believe in 
witchcraft. There was a poor childless Karen in Tavoy, 
who retired with his wife to the forest, and cultivated a 
small patch of land there alone. After awhile a man 


died in the neighbourhood of congestion of the liver. 
Dark suspicions began to be whispered that the old man 
of the jungle knew more than he ought to know of the 
matter. Soon he was openly pronounced a wizard, and 
his precincts enchanted ground. After this, whenever 
any singular death occurred in the neighbourhood, it 
was laid at his door. Finally, a child died of an 
unaccountable disease, and, lo, when its body was 
burned, a portion of the kidneys was found unconsumed. 
This to a Karen is proof positive. The neighbours, 
therefore, went up from all parts to the magistrate; 
clamorous for the old man's death. They found out 
that the English law would give no help, so three stout 
young men, arming themselves with axes and knives, 
hastened to the old man's hut, and there in broad day 
they hewed the wretched man to pieces as they would a 
log. When arraigned for trial, they at once confessed, 
producing the unburned kidneys as proof that they 
had acted only as public benefactors. 

The Karen wizard is called by the Pwos " Longch- 
erthe — the can-in winder." This dreadful being be- 
witches by introducing noxious substances into the 
body, as bits of glass, flesh, leather, water, &c, which 
things are charmed by him into demons. 

A man died in Tavoy of dropsy. He was killed, 
they said, by witchcraft. The civil surgeon determined 
on a post-mortem examination. The friends were called 
in the hope of convincing them of their error. 

"Ah," they said, on seeing the quantity of water; 
" there it is ! there it is ! " 

WHO IS YUAH ? 121 

" There what is ? " questioned the surgeon. 

" Why, the water-demon which the wizard cast into 
him. We thought he was turning him into drink." 

One mode of bewitching is by producing dumbness ; 
this is done by modelling an image of the person from 
the earth of his foot-prints, and sticking it with cotton 
seeds. Here is certainly a relationship to the old Saxon 
witch that troubled England a few years ago. 

Another wizard produces insanity with a hair sus- 
pended in a whirlpool. Others use a human skull 
concealed in the forest, with daily offerings before it. 
The skull is often used also to drive away evil spirits, 
such as the cholera demon and the small-pox demon. 
They tell wonderful tales, one about a family being 
turned into toads. 

Burman witches have power over the sea. A sailor, 
on coming home in Tavoy, accused his wife of having 
been the cause of all his trouble at sea, and gave her a 
severe beating. 

The Karens have various modes of detecting witches, 
among which is the water ordeal. When detected and 
alive, the witch or wizard is shaved, and set over a 
stream. The Burmese laws decree that if the person 
rises, she is guilty ; if she sinks, she is innocent ! 

In Nicobari, witches arc tied to a tree, and left to 
starve ; and when sentence is once pronounced, not even 
a daughter would dare carry food to her mother. 

" Who is this Yuah you tell of ? " I inquired of the 
Karen minstrel, when he repeated a stanza of poetry, 


which embodied their old traditions, saying, Yuah made 
the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon. Yuah made 
man, and all things, just as we have it in Genesis. 
Passing strange this, for the minstrel had never before 
seen a Christian teacher, or heard of Karen books ; yet he 
had the very same traditions that we had found in Tavoy 
and Maulmain, two and four hundred miles distant ; 
and yet his dialect was so different from the Karen 
dialects of those regions, that he could not understand 
five words. 

" Where did you learn this ?" I inquired. 

" Oh, far back, anciently." 

" Who taught you these things ?" 

" The Fathers. Old people." 

" And who taught them ? " 

" The Mau." 

" Who were the Mau ?" 

" Don't know. Prophets ; good men, inspired by 

This was just what the Pwo Karens had told us 
everywhere. When I first met Guapung, she told me 
the same story, and a Pwo chief down in the Mergui 
jungles also. 

Turning to a Paku, I asked, " Have you these same 
stories ?" 

" Yes." 

" And where did you get them V 

" A-poo-a-pee — grandfathers and grandmothers." 

" Where did they learn them ? " 

" The Wie taught them." 


Who the " Wie" were, or where they were, he could 
tell no more than the minstrel could of the " Mau," 
but this is what all the Sgaus say, dating back to a 
very ancient time — it was the " Wie " who instructed 

The Biblical traditions of the Karens are singularly 
clear and pure. The story of the first man and woman? 
of the temptation, of God having dwelt with man, and 
of salvation by the One God, they have handed down, 
they say, from that ancient skin book. 

Who these Karens are, to what people they are allied, 
and from whence they obtained their glimmerings of 
truth, are inquiries of the deepest interest, for this rea- 
son : God seems to have planted His footsteps through 
the nations just as He has laid the foundations of the 
earth in strata. If we strike upon a stratum of real 
precious ore, we follow it. It seems as if He would teach 
Christians to do this in teaching the world. If they hit 
upon a tribe ready for the Gospel, then it would seem 
wiser to follow that stratum or dip of the languages, for 
we are sure, it appears to me, to find the same, or a 
similar, disposition in all allied tribes, however separated 
by other nations. 

These terms, " Mau " and " Wie," ought to help us 
somewhat in tracing the Karens ; and before we have 
done, it may be that we shall find them nearer to us 
than we think. 

Of all the Karens near Tounghoo, the Bghais are the 
most warlike, and it was a question of a good deal of 
anxiety as to who should venture among them as a 


teacher of Christianity. Finally, I asked my Tutauman 
who should go. 

" Don't know," he replied, and sat for some minutes 
in deep thought ; then, looking up very sadly and 
timidly, he said : — 

" I wish I knew enough to go to the Bghais." 

" Perhaps you do, or if not, God can make you know 
enough," Mr. Mason answered. 

This man, Shapau, had lost his wife and all his chil- 
dren but one. He looked sorrow-stricken ; that was all 
that was remarkable about him. When alone upon the 
sea-shore with my sick husband, I had written a few 
Karen letters to the preachers' wives, which were pub- 
lished in the Karen " Star." One of these gave a brief 
sketch of the Madagascar mission, and another exhorted 
them to stir up their husbands, and set off to the Red 

Shapau said he had read this letter, and he felt a 
strong desire to work among them. This was why 
he came and offered his services for this journey to 

We became much attached to Shapau, because he was 
always trying to improve himself, as well as to do good 
to others, so, when he made that reply, I felt sure God 
was calling him, and, therefore, sat down at once and 
began to catechise liim in the Scriptures. He had 
studied but little, but had been a pupil of the Rev. Mr. 

* Several preachers, and some women, came over to Monmogon, 
to talk about the possibility of a Red Karen mission, and four of 
them did subsequently labour in Tounghoo and Shwagyn. 


Vinton. I think we sat two hours, when he looked up 

" Why, mama, I didn't think I knew half so much !" 
he said as innocently as a child. Finally, I told him he 
could teach the Bghais, but asked if he could be willing 
to give up his child and home, and go and live with 
such kidnappers, and dog-eaters too. 

" Don't know," he answered. Then, besides, I had 
to tell him that he knew the teacher paid him as his 
boatman fifteen rupees per month, but if he went to the 
Bghais, he could give him only four rupees. 

" Would you go for that ?" I asked, after giving 
him a sketch of the old Gospel Rangers in Britain and 
America. Shapau took his Testament and went out. 
He was absent some time ; but when he appeared again, 
his face shone with unearthly radiance, at least it struck 
me so as he came in. 

" Well, Shapau," Mr. Mason asked, for he had heard 
our conversation, " what is the decision ? Can you go 
to the Bghais for four rupees the month ?" 

" No, teacher," very solemnly, " I could not go for 
four rupees the month — but I can do it for Christ !" 

And he went. There was deep meaning in that eye, 
and in that grasp of the hand, when he said, — 

" / can do it for Christ." 

That man has since been ordained, has baptized nearly 
a thousand Bghais, has established some forty churches, 
and has since <rone on another foreign mission to the Red 
Karens. " For I say unto you, That unto every one 
%ohich hath shall be given," saith the Faithful Promiser 


It was one day when the chiefs were in with us that a 
letter arrived from Tavoy. It had been sent by the 
Christian converts of that province to Mr. Mason, en- 
treating him to pity his children there, and not call 
away their teacher, San Quala. 

" Read it, Shapau," Mr. Mason said to my Tutauman. 
He did so, standing up in the centre of the group like a 
Saul, for he was almost a head and shoulders above them 
all. The scene was intensely exciting. They had no 
idea they had any brothers in the south, and now to 
find that they were numerous, had become Christians, 
and had really and truly written that letter themselves ! 
Then the question arose — Would they take care of the 
great Karen teacher if his people did consent to let him 
come up to them ? 

" Take care ? Er, er ! "We '11 feed him, we '11 clothe 
him, we '11 build him a house. Tell them let him come," 
they answered in chorus ; and then a strife arose as to 
who should have him first, but one chief, elbowing his 
way along through the crowd to me, said, with a great 
deal of quiet determination, — 

" Teacheress, take my name." 

Much amused, I told Shapau to write it down. 

" And my wife's name," again very slow and with 
great dignity. We took his wife's name. 

" And my sons' names," so down went the sons' 
names, when all seemed to think he had gained the 
victory. I believe this was the same chief who brouo-ht 
in the little book. 

Quala came up, and Mr. Mason determined to make 


over the mission to his care entirely, during his absence 
at home, and see what a native could do in carrying on 
a mission alone. 

Soon after this I started, under the protection of 
an English convoy, to go down for our children in 
Maulmain, as Mr. Mason thought he must remain in 
Tounghoo a year there before leaving. On the second 
night, about midnight, I was awakened with a violent 
trembling, and with the impression that my husband 
was sick. Something said to me, " Go back ! go back, 
or you will never see him again!" 

I sat in dismay, meditating upon this strange revela- 
tion, some twenty minutes, when I determined to obey. 
So, writing a hasty note to the Commanding Officer, I 
asked my boatman to turn back. It was midnight, and 
they were greatly afraid of falling into the hands of 
dacoits. I told them not to fear ; that I would place my 
chair on the little deck, and I was sure no robber would 
shoot a white woman. 

" Hoga ! hoga ! — yes," they exclaimed, and started off 
with alacrity. Sitting out so was not very pleasant, for 
my garments were drenched with the heavy dews long 
before morning ; and, moreover, though I had re-assured 
the boatmen, I could not help every moment listening 
for the balls of the robbers. As we approached Tounghoo, 
we heard of them skirmishing on all sides of us, and of 
one or two most daring robberies just upon the shore ; 
but after four such nights we reached the city again 

Singularly enough, when I reached our bungalow, I 


found Mr. Mason had really had another attack of his 
complaint, and was on the point of starting himself for 
Maulmain, so that my return was very providential, as I 
could be with him on the way down. 

Having arranged this matter, the school was made over 
to Pwapau, one of Mr. Mason's old pupils from Tavoy. 
A cocoanut grove was purchased, the Sacred Oracles 
deposited, and then, amidst prayer and singing, Quala 
and I went out with the school and planted a Christian 
banner in Tounghoo, with these words inscribed : 
" The Holy Book. Eead— Hear." 

Then came the pressing of hands, and the tearful good- 
byes, in which the poor Shans from Monay came up and 

When we passed down, the tidal wave in the Sittang 
river rose fearfully, and the waters rushed past our little 
boat as if they would instantly sweep every vestige of us 
away. It was impossible to advance. The darkness of 
night enfolded us, and we sat under our slender cover 
listening with no small degree of agitation to the rush of 
waters. Just then the boat was lifted suddenly up, and 
shot away with a velocity past all description. I screamed 
to the boatmen, who were already screaming to one 
another, and to the accompanying boats for help. Our 
anchor had given way, and had not the men put forth 
every nerve to secure her to a larger boat, we should 
have been lost. No sooner had they fastened the rope, 
than the winds began to rise. Louder and louder they 
roared, until they really bellowed along the waters, which 
lashed themselves, rolling, tumbling, and growling around 


our boats with the greatest fury ; weltering under us as 
if they would instantly suck us into the seething brine. 
For an hour we remained thus, the billows every moment 
threatenino- to engulf us. That was an hour for thought 
— tossed in darkness amid the yawning waves and howl- 
ing winds ; to think that our anchor gave way just 
then, when the tide came — when it was most needed — 
awakened the most solemn reflections. In such a place, 
one can imagine a little what the feeling must be should 
the anchor of hope fail when meeting death's dark tide. 
With thousands it undoubtedly will fail, and leave them 
to perish. Oh ! what an agonizing moment will it be to 
feel that anchor giving way, and the soul sinking into 
eternity ! 

After the strength of the tide had come in, the men 
considered it safest to cut loose, and run before the wind, 
which, coming from the east, blew us with great violence 
farther and farther out to sea. We were in company 
with three or four other boats ; but they were much 
larger, carried more sail, and, consequently, soon left us 
far in the rear. According to Burmese custom, they now 
and then threw out signal lights from their boats, and 
with what anxiety did I strain my eyes for those receding 
beacons ! Now, as our skiff rode up on a mountain 
wave, we could just discern them far away, trembling 
for a moment, then disappearing ; now another light 
rises, faintly flickering, fainter, fainter, and again all is 
darkness. Hark ! a grinding sound ! a ploughing of the 
boat ! and the men instantly leaped into the waters. 
But it was of no use ; she had struck upon the sands in 



the midst of the sea, some eight or ten miles from land, 
as near as we could make out. The tide was fast falling, 
and it was impossible to move her. It was three o'clock. 
The men had been toiling for seventeen hours without 
food, and seeing nothing of our provision-boat, they all 
but one left us to go in search of help. The man who 
remained, wearied out, lay down and slept ; but sleep 
was far enough from me, though chilled through with 
anxiety and cold; for I had stood three hours in the 
water, baling out, during the fury of the tide. 

Never but once did I experience so trying a moment 
as this. Mr. Mason was too sick to make any plan, 
or think of any proposed. He could neither walk nor 
sit up ; and I knew the tide would be in soon after 
sunrise, when we should either be swamped, or driven 
out to sea without anchor, provisions, or boatmen. Not 
a craft, not a soul, was to be seen or heard, in all the 
surrounding distance. For a moment death seemed 
inevitable, and had I been alone, I do not know but I 
should have yielded to the overpowering sensation ; but 
my husband lay helpless before me ; and I knew my 
little ones, whom I had not seen for nearly four long 
months, were anxiously watching for father and mother. 
I stepped out upon the sand, and looked up to the Eye 
that ever watches over land and sea. The sun began 
to rise, and no one had returned. But just then I 
descried something like the mast of a vessel far in 
the distance, across the wide sandbanks. It was just 
discernible, but I instantly resolved to reach it. So, 
rolling up a small bundle, I placed it upon the head of 


a little Karen girl with us, and then tried to help my 
dear husband to rise. He made the effort, but was too 
weak ; and with feelings indescribable, I was compelled 
to leave him. With swift feet Mary and I made our 
way over the sands and waters which were beginning to 
come in. When about half way over, we met the boat- 
men returning : 

" We are all lost, mama ! " they exclaimed. But 
without stopping, I charged them to run and bring the 
teacher, and hastened on. They did so, and soon we 
had the inconceivable happiness of seeing him lifted 
into a larger vessel, the master of which, not for love, 
but for rupees, would take us in. The men had barely 
time to secure a few clothes, and a handful of tea and 
biscuit, when the breakers came dashing over the sands. 
At that momentwe discerned two objects apparently on the 
horizon, so far away that it was impossible to tell if they 
were masts or human beings. At last my little girl cried : 
" Colahthu ! Colahthu \" and we discovered that it 
was indeed the colahthu, or cook, with the Burinan 
preacher in search of us. In their anxiety to find us, 
they did not seem to see that the waters were at their 
heels, and it was not without a multitude of gesticula- 
tions and exclamations, that they were made to compre- 
hend their own danger, and flee to their boat. The 
craft we now occupied was a crazy old thing, destitute 
of every comfort. It had not even ballast, and rucked 
about among the breakers, as if it would surely go to 
pieces, but it was a paradise to the other, because it was 
comparatively safe. 

k 2 


The remainder of the way, I made tea in a bowl, 
which was all the sustenance I could get for my hus- 
band except a little dry bread, and the poor boatmen 
had not so much as that. For two days and two nights, 
I believe, they never tasted food, except a few dry rusks 
which I succeeded in tossing to their boat. It was 
then that I knew why I had been turned back to my 
husband in so singular a manner, for had not some 
friend been with him, he would probably have died in 
the river. No one can imagine what I felt as we rocked 
about in that old boat, while these words of my child- 
hood came back to me : " You must go to Burmah, and 
help Mr. Mason." Truly, stranger than fiction is the 
story of one's own life. 





Away ! away ! on the rolling sea, 

When the blue waves bound and curl ; 

Let the mariner's song pour loud and free, 
And the canvas wide unfurl. 

Away ! away ! where the Nereids sing 

With Arion's harp of old ; 
Now toss'd on the foam with the petrel's wing, 

Now rock'd on billowy gold. 

Away ! away ! o'er the glistening brine, 

When the soft air breathes of love, 
When mellow tints o'er the waters shine, 

Crayon' d by heaven above. 

And lightly float on the moonlight sea 

As beneath a silver dome, 
While the sails are falling gracefully, 

And the dreamer dreams of home. 

But the sundight down— the night gods frown ! 

Growling, they're battering the stern ; 
Then hurl at the clouds o'er the shivering shrouds, 

While billows in darkness burn. 

],36 THE SEA. 

Now the surges boom 'mid the thickening gloom, 

Making all the canvas rattle ; 
But the bow drives low, and charges the foe, 

The ship and the storm doing battle ! 

Loud thunders roll, red lightnings fly, 

And earthquakes vault'in the waves, 
While they heave up their mountains wild and high, 

And scoop out their whirlpool graves. 

Staggers on the bark in the maddening gale, 

And the tall masts reel and tremble ; 
While the hurricane winds give a boding waiL 

And the heart can no more dissemble. 

" Now, hard up the helm ! Let her run 'fore the blast ! " 

Comes, as we shuddering wait- 
Then the loud trumpet roar : " Cut away the mast ! " 

" We're lost ! " shriek captain and mate. 

Lo ! yonder a Light ! a high beacon Light, 

Looms o'er the threatening doom — 
'Tis the Bethlehem Star ! and bright, ever bright, 

It guides from an ocean tomb ! 

We left Totmghoo in January, 1854, and reached Eng- 
land in May in the steamer Indiana, spending the summer 
mostly in London, Mr. Mason being too ill to see friends. 
August was passed in Berlin, with improved health, 
studying in the University among Bible translations, 
for which purpose we went over. September we came 
to Scotland in the steamer Petrel, and were almost 
wrecked. At last we reached Boston, in October, in the 
Europa, and re-embarked for India in July, 1856, 
arriving at Calcutta in November. Mr. Mason reached 


Tounghoo again in January, and I in April, 1857. 
This is the only time that my husband ever left India 
during his " thirty years' war " with heathen darkness. 

Now imagine us in the Jumna, the graceful Jumna, 
that skims the billows like a light sea-gull, or a stormy 
petrel on the wing. 

We were coming to the close of a stormy voyage. Of 
course, everybody has seen a hurricane, but a hurricane 
and a cyclone are just as different as a mountain and 
Mont Blanc. We were riding at anchor on the Sand 
Heads, passing congratulations on our arrival, when a 
pilot brig scudded alongside, trumpeting us off to sea 
again with all possible speed. Our master paced the 
deck, looking as if he could bite the wheel off ; the first 
officer bellowed his orders, and Jack went to the anchor 
with head down as if going to be flogged. It was not 
very exhilarating to go waltzing back into the deep 
black waters, especially with the prospect before us of 
running our bow right into a Bengal hurricane. But 
off we went, like the poor Rajah who, pressed by land 
enemies, thrust his head into a rice pot, and rushed into 
the waters to hide himself. 

By the time we were all under way, the winds were 
blowing very hard, and our vessel close upon a reef. I 
had heard so much of the dreaded circular hurricanes of 
the Bengal Bay, that I could think of nothing but fire, 
so terrifying at sea. I noticed that the lightnings, 
fierce, hurried, constant, and changing, without thunder, 
indicated a cyclone, as described by Piddington in his 
" Law of Storms." The answers of the man at the wheel 

] 38 DANGER. 

also indicated a circular motion of the wind. I was, 
therefore, fearing the worst, when I heard the captain 
say to the mate in an under tone : — 

" The vortex is ahead there." 

" It acts like it," replies the officer. 

" I know 'tis by the action of the sea." 

" Can we do nothing ?" 

"Impossible, but I hope she'll outride it; she ought 
to ; she's a new, strong ship." 

It was true, then, that we were in a cyclone, and rapidly 
approaching the vortex, the winds every moment in- 
creasing, and the barometer rapidly sinking. The sea 
was lashing itself into mountain waves, or sinking in 
deep, charcoal-looking gulphs, while its significant seeth- 
ing, gurgling sound was very terrible. 

Nothing was heard amid the war of winds and waves 
but the shrill trumpet orders of the officers, and the 
sharp, quick, shouting answers of the men. 

Suddenly there was a cry, " Ship on the weather- 
bow ! " Up went our helm, out went the trumpets, the 
captain, officers, and crew, .all roaring at the top of their 
voices. A French barque was staggering right down 
upon us, apparently in utter bewilderment. At last the 
intrepid mate posted himself right over the bow, and 
shook his fists so frightfully, the Frenchman caught a 
glimpse of them by the lightning, and put about just 
barely in time to clear us ! Had she struck us then 
upon our weather-board, probably not one had remained 

The hurricane had already raged its twelve hours — six 


of them threatening every moment to swallow us — when 
the joyful announcement was heard that the barometer 
was at a stand. This was at half-past twelve at night. 
Fifteen minutes to one o'clock it had begun slightly to 
rise, and the axes were put by. Five had been prepared 
to cut away the masts, and orders given to be ready, and 
had the mercury fallen fifteen minutes longer, they must 
have gone, or we should have been engulphed. Sud- 
denly again, there was a sort of dying pause in the 
winds, while the motion of the sea became more alarm- 
ing, heaving mountains of water upon us, so as almost 
to capsize the vessel. The lightning chains, too, spanned 
the heavens in double links, advancing, receding, meet- 
ing, chasing. Then we knew we were in the vortex, but 
not in the centre, for if we had been there, the agitation 
of the sea had been still more terrific. 

We were lying under "bare poles" from eleven o'clock 
p.m. to four o'clock a.m., waiting to see if the winds 
would rage again, or change about suddenly and drive 
us out of our peril. Through the great mercy of the 
Most High, in answer to prayer, this happened, and the 
winds came round to the westward. It was a solemn 
thing to hear the watches called off there in our mid- 
night horrors to see who was alive, and who was gone. 
It was a solemn thing — the awful stillness of our ship 
during that fearful pause, when all who knew their 
danger must have been busy with their hearts and with 
their God. 




The young men of the Tounghoo Karen tribes were 
now fairly sent out as educators of their own countrymen, 
and many heathen chiefs had become enlisted as sup- 
porters of the scheme, for they were to go wherever they 
should be called, and depend entirely on the people for 
support. This plan Mr. Mason had determined to cam- 
out among the preachers also, and make Tounghoo an 
example to all the regions beyond, as a self-sustaining 
mission. His excellent helper San Quala favoured it. 

" Tell the white brothers," he said to me as we Bat two 
hours conversing about all the interests of the mission 
before we left, " tell them not to forsake the Karens just 
yet. We are like children beginning to walk. We 
toddle, we fall, but we're truing." 

I had now a great desire to enlist the chiefs in a move- 
ment for the young women similar to that of the men, 
to raise up schoolmistresses who should form elementary 
classes all over the mountains as fast as little churches 
could be formed, and thus leave the young men free to 
go forth as pioneer preachers to the heathen. 

Tounghoo was a great country of itself, isolated. 

WOMEN. 141 

almost excluded from the unhappy influences of seaports. 
We thought we might mould it as we would if we began 
at once. To make special effort for the men and not the 
same for the women, would be doing just what others 
have so often done, — confirming the heathen in their pre- 
judices that woman was only a slave to work and bear, 
not to speak, or sit with her brothers. But make them 
teachers side by side, make the education of young 
women just as prominent as that of young men, train 
the young mothers, and it would tell upon the race 
through eternity. I knew that whatever type of civili- 
zation or Christianity was introduced into Tounghoo, it 
would be carried up through all the mountains of 
Burmah, and perhaps farther still, through Thibet and 

While in America I could do very little for the 
Tounghoo tribes. As a wife, duty called me first to my 
sick husband, then as a mother and step-mother too, to 
our children, to look after their education, to try and in- 
cite them to high and holy consecration and activity; as 
a daughter and sister, I had to comfort and cheer my 
relatives ; as a friend of the poor student and schoolmis- 
tress, to sympathize with many ; and as a housekeeper 
with small means and eight in family, to bake, sweep, 
and attend to domestic duty. These were my duties 
and labours while in the States, but those Tounghoo 
women were ever on my heart. What could I do to 
begin the work among them ? I had no time or means 
to go about to interest friends. Then again the public 
feeling forbade it. It could make no distinction between 


the schools which take in every child at foreign cost, 
and aid-schools which train teachers, and need only help 
enough to develope native strength. It would have re- 
quired months to explain this matter, besides a kind, 
sympathizing helper. One such friend came forward, 
the Rev. Dr. Beadle, of Hartford, who, with his ladies, 
raised fifty dollars and a box of clothing and stationery 
worth fifty more, presented with sympathy — more pre- 
cious still — from a stranger, too, whom I had never met 
but once ! Noble, geuernus friend ! May the Almighty 
send him sympathizing hearts and helping hands ! Un- 
doubtedly, others would have acted as nobly if the sub- 
ject had been presented to them, but as it was, this, 
with five dollars from a lady through the Rev. Dr. 
Westcot, of New York, was all that I had to begin 

Leaving Boston with so little help for the poor young 
schoolmasters I had taken up, and with scarcely a ray 
of encouragement for their sisters begging for instruction, 
I felt very dejected and desolate. 

Many sorrows had encompassed us during our stay at 
home, deep, piercing, harrowing, but, I thank God, 
subduing ; and now, floating once more upon the ocean, 
I could realize how entirely dependent those poor 
Tounghoo women were for help on the Arm above. To 
that Arm — to that Eye — I resolved to look, and to that 
source alone. Then stole out so soothingly those tender 
words : " Jesus wept." 

Yes, Jesus ! Precious Jesus ! and it was with woman 
too, and there came another voice : " It is I, be not 


afraid." Then my soul grew strong again, and calm, 
and trustful. 

It was very strange, but although Mr. Mason made 
every effort, no passage could be obtained for me and my 
little boys from Calcutta to Burmah. We even wrote 
to a chaplain whom we had known when in Burmah, 
entreating him to intercede for us, and he did, but the 
troops were being transported to Rangoon, and every 
steamer and sailing-vessel was full. Mr. Mason, even, 
was obliged to take a deck passage. Before he left, I 
obtained his consent to my giving up for a time my per- 
sonal support from America, in order to make an experi- 
ment, and see if the native chiefs could be enlisted in 
managing and sustaining a girl's school themselves. I 
had no promises from any living being, for I had not 
spoken to anyone in India, and no one in America had 
promised the slightest aid, but I knew that to be suc- 
cessful the school must belong to the people. I did not 
withdraw in the least from our mission ; I only proposed 
to find means where I could, and support myself while 
doing it, sending reports regularly to the Board, which 
has been done ever since. Having settled upon this, I 
wrote out a full account of the plan to the Secretary of 
the American Baptist Missionary Union, and then shut 
myself up with my two little boys in a small basement 
bedroom in Sudder Street. 

My first determination was to write something while 
detained in Calcutta which should create an interest in 
the Karen people. 

I said : " What shall I do, oh, my Saviour ?" 


" Ask, ask — if ye ask anything in my name, it shall 
be done for you." From that day I asked morning, 
noon, and night, and every day my faith grew stronger. 

It happened to be at this time that the great act 
legalizing the marriage of Hindu widows was brought 
about, which moved all Calcutta, and, indeed, all India. 
The papers were full of this wonderful movement, begun 
by native gentlemen themselves. Of course, I could not 
help feeling the most intense interest in such a grand 
reform act, that must usher in light and liberty to cap- 
tive millions of heathen women, and I could write of 
nothing else. 

Finally, one morning after prayer, something whis- 
pered : " Send up your manuscript to Lady Canning." 
There was no voice, but the thought came like a flash. 
No idea of addressing Lady Canning had ever entered 
my mind before. That same day I sent the following 
note : — 

" To the Eight Honourable Viscountess Canning, 

" Government House, Calcutta. 

" Madam, — Feeling assured that every Christian 
must take a warm interest in the late great movement 
among the Brahmins in regard to Widow Marriage, I 
take the liberty, respectfully, to ask if I may be 
allowed to dedicate the accompanying MSS. to your 
ladyship ? 

" I would also beg the indulgence of explaining why 
I desire it. My husband, the Rev. Dr. Mason, transla- 
tor of the Karen Bible, three years ago founded a new 
mission in the old kingdom of Tounghoo, in Pegu, 


under the patronage of the American Baptist Foreign 
Missionary Union. On this undertaking God has been 
pleased to pour out His Spirit in a most wonderful man- 
ner, and the mission now numbers thousands of baptized 
believers. These converts have erected chapels at 
their own charges, established some fifty jungle-schools, 
and support their own teachers. The people are 
eager for instruction, so that one teacher has four 
districts in charge at once, spending a day with each in 

" Our schools have been greatly blessed of heaven, 
and during four years that I had the privilege of 
instructing one in Maulmain, thirty-eight of my pupils 
were baptized, and write me in their own expressive 
idiom : ' My heart hits the Lord Jesus Christ exceed- 

" For the women of Tounghoo nothing has yet been 
done, and I am very desirous of opening for them imme- 
diately, in Tounghoo city, a National Female Institute, 
for all the tribes, admitting only such as will devote 
themselves to the work of instruction. But on account 
of heavy financial pressure, our American Board is 
unable at present to aid this object. I have, therefore, 
resolved to do what I can myself towards making a 

" Therefore, I have asked this favour of your ladyship. 
" Hoping that my request may be kindly granted, 
" I am, Madam, your humble servant, 

"Ellen H. B. Mason, 
" 13, Sudder Street, Feb. 6tk, 1857." 


146 MRS. WYLIE. 

I sent it off, praying, believing that God would arise 
and plead His own cause. 

Weeks passed, weeks of anxiety, yet of humble trust 
and continued asking. A servant appears at last, and 
Mrs. C. H. L alights at my door. 

" I have heard, madam, there is an interesting work 
in Tounghoo. I should like to hear particulars. I am 
going to Government House, and would be glad to give 
Lady Canning some account of it." 

I thought— " Truly, this is of the Lord." The next 
morning I received the following from — 

Government House, 

March \Uh, 1857. 

" Madam, — I have been very much interested in the 
account you have given me of the Karens, and should 
be glad to communicate with you further on the subject. 

" If you can call here to-morrow about eleven o'clock, 
I shall be glad to see you. 

" Believe me, sincerely yours, 

"G. Canning." 

Five o'clock here is the time for evening drives. Mrs. 
MacLeod Wylie enters. 

"Mrs. Mason! Why are you here all alone?" she 
exclaims in astonishment. " It was only last night that 
we learned the fact of your being still in the city." 

" I have not been alone, dear Mrs. Wylie." 

" No, no, I understand. Now come home with me." 


We arrive, and Mr. Wylie, drawing me beside him, 
asks what are my plans. 

I explain to him a general plan. 

" How much do you want to begin with ? " 

" Two thousand rupees." 

" Oh, my dear Mrs. Mason, I am sorry to discourage 
you, but you won't get it! — but Kitmagar!" he calls, 
" Bring me pen and ink/' — and down goes at once fifty 
rupees for himself, and fifty for a friend of his — one- 
twentieth of all I asked ! 

"Thanks! my dear Mr. Wylie. Now may hap I 
shall get it." And then I told him of my invitation 
to Government House. 

As soon as I could reach my room, and lock the door, 
I fell before God, and thanked Him that He had sent 
the two thousand rupees. I could not say the one 
hundred rupees — I could say nothing but the two thou- 

" I was sure an order had been given for it by the 
Great Treasurer of missions. 

Next day I drove to Government Palace, ascended two 
flights of stairs into a long corridor, lined on either side 
with exquisite exotics all in full bloom, and a great 
number of Hindus, in snow-white drapery, and long 
white stockings, without sandals or shoes, all touching 
their palms, and bowing to the floor. 

Passing into the drawing-room, the Countess Canning 
stood before me, arranging some beautiful daisies. She 
immediately turned, and, smiling graciously, led me to a 



Ci I am glad to see yon, Mrs. Mason," she said. " I 
was very much interested in the account you gave me. 
Pray now tell me something of your Karens. W here 
did they come from ? That is their religion ? Have 
they any caste ? And how do you work among them so 
as to bring about such remarkable results '(" 

This opened the way for me to give the Countess a 
description of the Karen and Burmese women, and their 
want of education. 

" And why don't you present your requests to Govern- 
ment, Mrs. Mason V 

11 Surely your ladyship would scarcely advise that — I 
a stranger, and a woman too V I said. 

"Why, yes, I think I would. The Queen, I assure 
yon, feels a deep interest in the women of her terri- 

I think I sat with her nearly two hours, she repeatedly 
refusing admittance to others. Once or twice I at- 
tempted to rise, when she gently detained me, saying 
she had been much gratified, and should like to hear 

On returning home I drew up a brief account and 

petition to Government, with the following conclu- 
sion : — 

•* *• *■ # * ■* * 

If the Government will kindly grant the aids 
mentioned to make a beginning, I propose, in order 

. eke the school permanent, and to enlist the sym- 
pathy of all the tribes of Tounghoo, that the land, 
buildings, apparatus, furniture, and everything apper- 


taininc to the institute, shall be held in trust by a 
Native Board of Managers, chosen at the annual 

My friend Mrs. L , who had called before, kindly 

undertook to present the petition. 

In about a week I received the following reply : — 

" To Mrs. Ellen H. B. Mason. 

* * * (After quoting the petition) 

" As it is understood that the school when once 
established will be self-supporting, the Governor- General 
in Council sanctions the grant for the following aids, 
viz. : — 

" 1. A small piece of land with well and fruit-trees. 

■• 2. One thousand rupees for the erection of build- 

" 3. Four hundred rupees for furniture and school 

Just what I had asked for. Who will say this was not 
from God ? Who can doubt but it was a great answer 
to prayer ? Among other things, Lady Canning ex- 
pressed the hope that I would extend my efforts to the 
Burmese women, and I replied, 

" But it is very difficult, madam. They are trained 
from infancy only to be attractive to strangers, that 
their mothers may sell them for a high price. There- 
fore, the mothers will not let them come to us for 

" Then it is a love of money that induces them to fall 
into such degradation and sin ? " 

" Yes, madam. Simply the desire of gain." 


" Then why not introduce some attractive accomplish- 
ments by which they may earn a handsome livelihood 
themselves, such as colouring or embroidery ? " 

Her ladyship subsequently sent me two volumes of 
engravings and a handsome donation for the school, 
adding, — 

" I most cordially trust your good work will prosper, 
and you have my best wishes." 

In my reply, I said, — 

" I feel sure that when the Karens come to know that 
their chieftess cares for them, it will inspire them with 
great zeal to support the school, and they will feel their 
honour concerned in the education of their daughters. 
They are unlike other Orientals, having a high respect 
for woman, and a high sense of honour. They are, too, 
nationally, a grateful people, and be assured, the incense 
of prayer will daily ascend from three thousand warm 
hearts, scattered upon the mountains of Tounghoo, in 
behalf of your Ladyship and the Governor- General. 




" A call, ma'am." Mrs. D. She desires me to dine 
with her. I have passed a delightful evening with a 
party of Christian friends. The Honourable E. D. is 
Accountant- General, and he is one of the chief actors 
in the City Missions, in Foreign Missions, in the Bible 
Societies, and to my great joy, Mrs. D. takes up a 
Native Missionary in Tounghoo, whom they have ever 
since supported generously by a hundred rupees a-year. 

" Ma'am, a roll for you," said the Kitmagar, one day 
on my return from a call. I open it : Two hundred 
and fifty rupees ! Thanks ! thanks, my God ! I read : 

" My dear Mrs. Mason, 

**■ Mrs. M. wished me to hand in this two hundred and 
fifty rupees, for the support of a native preacher in 
Tounghoo, under your own and Dr. Mason's care. 

"J. M." 

I knelt before God with my little boys, and thanked 
Him for remembering the poor and needy. Dear, good, 
sympathizing friends ! Mr. M. was pastor of the Scotch 
Free Church in Calcutta. 


Another card of invitation from the F's. On this 
evening I made the acquaintance of one who has power 
both with God and man — the Rev. Mr. H. ; and on 
returning home, find a roll of one hundred rupees from 
Hugh F., Esq. " Manna ! manna ! mother," my little 
boys say thoughtfully. 

Two of the most profitable evenings were spent with 
the W's. at small dinner parties. The company was very 
interesting, — the Archbishop, with Mrs. Pratt, in- 
cluding one or two military officers, the dear Milnes, 
Moncrieffs, and the Rev. Mr. Yates, of the Church of 
England Mission, who sent me fifty rupees ; here also I 
met Dr. Kay, of Bishop's College, whose sermon on 
Woman is worth going on pilgrimage to hear. 

Mr. W. is emphatically a conversationist. You are 
sure to find at his table the most talented, brilliant 
talkers and the most earnest Christians of the land, 
and I have seen him hold them spell-bound for two 
hours. It seems to be no effort or intention, but he 
leads you off so easily, you are not in the least aware of 
it till you utterly forget you are at the dinner-table ; 
at least I did, and could do nothing in the world but 

" Why was not Mr. W. a Missionary ? " asked a lady 
who had heard his inspiring eloquence. 

" A Missionary ! He's Missionary Extraordinary — a 
Nah Khan Do — Great Ear Chief — a general hearer and 
helper of all parts and parties. 

Mrs. W. is as deeply interested as he is in Missionary 
work. It was this warm sympathy that induced her to 


write the " Gospel in Burinah," so graphic in its style, 
and so correct in its detail.* 

These friends usually receive social visits on Thursday 
evenings, for the study of the Bible, when their large 
parlours are thrown open ; and when I was with thern 
in 1860, they were soon filled with Government 
officers, merchants, physicians, and young cadets, with 
many ladies. Mr. W. gave out a hymn, which all 
united in singing ; then prayer was offered, and he read 
the ninth chapter of Acts, when all made remarks, or 
asked questions, as they felt disposed. Mr. W.'s own 
explanations struck me with a strange power, concern- 
ing the Lord's direction to Ananias, to go into the street 
called " Straight," showing the minute care and know- 
ledge of the Lord concerning even streets and houses. 

Among those whose acquaintance I delighted to make 
was Dr. Duff. One morning I drove round to Wellesley 
Square. The Doctor very courteously led me over the 
whole of the college. I was much amused with his 
geography class. 

" What is the world ? " — " A star in the sky." 

" How is it kept revolving round the sun ? " — " By 
two forces." 

" What do your Shasters say ? " — " That the earth 
sits on a tortoise." 

" Does it ? "— " No." 

* This work is republished in New York, and I was told that one 
Clergyman in the west sent for a hundred copies, saying nothing had 
ever stirred up such an interest in that region. 

154 REV. DR. DUFF. 

'< Then your Shasters tell a lie, do they ? "— " They 
do," with a laugh. 

" If your Shasters lie about one thing, will they not 
about others ? "— " Yes, Sir." 

" Do you believe in the gods about here in Cal- 
cutta?"— No, Sir. 

Who is God ? " — " The Eternal Creator, and Jesus 
Christ, His Son." 

** Do you believe in Jesus Christ ? " — " Yes, Sir." 
" Have you become Christians ? " — " No, Sir." 
" Why not ? " — " Our parents will not allow us." * 
In the evening I took tea with Dr. and Mrs. Duff, 
and a number of Christian preachers, Hindu gentlemen, 
and one or two of their wives. I can truly say they 
were gentlemen in every sense of the word — thorough in 
the Scriptures, learned in the classics, and seemed to 
have imbibed much of the Doctor's own spirit — zeal for 
the holy war. As I looked upon the master and the 
pupils, and saw how his inspiration was diffused among 
them, and how they loved him, I could but think how 
much more blessed it was to give than to receive. 

I called on that patriarch, Lacroix, who had been 
there thirty years at work, yet nobody would have 
thought him growing old ; for he came out with such a 
beaming eye and elastic step, I could not help wish- 

* It is a significant fact, that while the Government College has 
no Bible taught, and is open to all, there are only about a thousand 
students, while Dr. Duff has all his pupils read the Bible, and 
preaches Christ to them every day, yet the school numbers fifteen 


ing that some of our woe-begone young pastors, and 
Missionaries too, could grasp the hand of this then 
brightening yo u ng old Missionary soldier. 

One of the most successful workers was Mrs. Mullins, 
now deceased, as well as her sainted father. She had 
an interesting orphan school, and was a pioneer Bible 
reader in the Zenanas of Calcutta. 

In India it has hitherto been said, the laws of Menu 
and Confucius say, " Give a woman letters or know- 
ledge, and you give a serpent milk." They know as 
well as we that " knowledge is power," therefore woman 
must never possess it. If a little Hindu girl dares to 
learn books, she will surely become a widow, that is, 
be cursed of God and man. Little girls are married 
there when between eight and ten years old. They 
have nothing to say about the matter. Their fathers 
trade them off to the one who offers the highest rank or 
the fullest purse. He may be a very savage in disposi- 
tion, the father replies : " She 's only a girl." Even at 
birth the degradation of woman commences. A mother 
forgets all sorrow "for joy that a man is born into the 
world ; " but, alas ! if a girl, her grief knows no bounds, 
and she is obliged to remain a week longer in her out- 
door den alone. 

By and by the infant begins to sit alone. Now, if it 
is a boy, it is set upon a mat, and bright gilded toys are 
given it. If a girl, it is set in the dirt, and an old tile 
is its plaything. So it is through life. Widowhood is 
only a change of masters ; but then in widowhood, if 
she has no sons, her husband's brothers are her rulers, 


and she becomes a slave to the caprice, envy, jealousy, 
and ill-temper of heathen sisters-in-law. 

She must ever after stand in their presence to denote 
servitude ; when they lie upon a bed, she must lie upon 
the floor ; when they have their dainty viands, although 
they too must eat after their husband and out of his 
sight, yet the poor widow must crouch away even from 
her sisters, and eat her one meal a-day of roots and 
herbs " boiled," as the law prescribes, " in one pot." 
She may cook fish for her sons, but never taste it ; 
she may array her sisters in gay dresses, she must never 
put off her coarse, widow weeds. She may fit off her 
favoured sisters for an airing in their vails and polkas, 
she must never step foot outside of the high picketed 
wall of her master's enclosure ; she may bring books for 
her lords, she may never read a letter ; and the more 
sacred books she may never hear even, lest, alas ! she 
should obtain some glimmerings of knowledge to solace 
her lonely spirit. Such is woman's lot now among the 
helpless millions of India, and much the same through- 
out a great part of Asia, and this is why the preseance 
of power has been removed from all these eastern nations. 
They are doomed every one of them, and because they 
have so degraded woman ; and very likely this is one 
great reason why the Jews refused the Messiah, for they 
too had adopted much of heathen philosophy in regard 
to her position. Even now, in the enlightened United 
States of America, their women are not allowed to sit 
with men in the synagogue, or to join in any part of the 
Hebrew service, not even in the singing. 


Yes, God made man a monarch, but gave him a limited 
monarchy ; and whenever he turns it into a despotism, 
he falls with it. Everywhere and in every department 
this holds true ; the reason we shall come to by and by. 

One of the most elevating schools in Calcutta is the 
School of Arts, where young men are stimulated to 
emulate each other in drawing, designing, modelling, 
engraving, and lithography. It is a noble institution, 
and a beautiful thought ; but why should the founders 
think only of young men ? If there was a female depart- 
ment, it might do much to elevate the women of India. 

I sent my card to Pundit Vidyasagur, the native 
gentleman who, with Baboo Vidyarutna, brought about 
the Widow Marriage Act. He is President of the 
Sanscrit College,* to which he very politely escorted me. 
On one of the shelves I saw an elegantly-bound volume 
of the Bible, to which I called attention. 

" Yes, madam," the librarian at once replied, "yes, 
and there is Hume" laying his hand on another volume 
of the same size, and just as elegantly bound, lying on 
the top of the Bible. Government presented the Bible 
to the college, so they did not dare refuse it, but they 
covered it with Hume ! 

Vidyasagur attended me to see a widow whom he had 
been educating, much to his honour. She was then a 
respected teacher in a school ; a lovely young creature, 
so inspired with her work, and so inspiring, it did one's 
heart good to meet her. 

I went to see Mrs. Ewart's school for Jewish girls. 
They had an excellent teacher. It is difficult to instruct 


these girls, because their parents care very little for 
sound, useful knowledge, but insist on their being tho- 
rough in the geography of the Twelve Tribes. It cer- 
tainly requires a good store of patience to drill any girls 
for hours on the localities of Dan, Gad, and Napthali ; 
however, by perseverance in this particular, Mrs. Ewart 
has the privilege of teaching them a thousand things 
about Christ and heaven. 

I visited several orphan schools. There is one con- 
nected with each Missionary denomination in Calcutta. 
Dr. and Mrs. Duff have founded a school for the high- 
caste girls, and have forty or more taught as yet by a 
heathen pundit, but this is an improvement on the past. 
The light of Calcutta in female education is the Normal 
Central Institution, for educating teachers. 

The gentlemen in India seem to feel much deeper in- 
terest in the elevation of heathen women than our 
brothers in America do generally. This ought not to be. 
They may say English officers ought to do more for 
India. True, but America has its Indians, its negroes, 
its poor white girls. And then, America is a great 
country of educated mothers, therefore we have a right 
to expect from her sons some help for these millions of 
heathen women in Asia. 

These first schools are like leaven, and will work, and 
the Missionaries, with many others in Calcutta, are in- 
defatigable labourers in the cause. But the population 
is so dense ! Mrs. Wylie says : " In Calcutta alone 
there are probably three hundred thousand females, and 
within a radius of twenty miles around Calcutta, there 


are perhaps not less than a million. Only a few of all 
this great multitude can read — only a few have heard of 
the way of salvation." 

What India now needs most is a corps of Bible- 
reading women, of high cultivation, irrepressible zeal, 
and entire consecration. If the gentlemen would just 
help these to go as sappers and miners, they would next 
have to prepare quarters for a surrendering enemy. 

There is a Sunday-school in Calcutta helping in this 
work, that interested me deeply. The superintendent is 
Robert Scott Moncrieff, Esq., and he represents a class 
of earnest, primitive lay Missionaries scattered all over 
India. He is a young man just rising, making his own 
way upward. He rises because he keeps the only 
sure path — integrity, hard work, perseverance, patience, 
faith, and trust. But, while toiling unremittingly in a 
counting-house, with heavy responsibilities, he still finds 
time to be Sunday-school superintendent, gaol Mission- 
ary, and seaman's friend. Heaven reward thee, friend 
and brother ! " He that soweth bountifully shall reap 
also bountifully." 

One morning the venerable Bishop, good Daniel Wil- 
son, sent for me to breakfast with himself and the Arch- 
deacon. The dear Wylies took me in their carriage. 

His expositions of the Scriptures that morning were 
most clear and impressive, as if the glimpses into their 
deep treasures grew brighter as he looked over the river, 
and at the close we all joined with heartfelt earnestness 
in " Thy kingdom come." 

On going to the table he seated me beside himself, 


and after breakfast he led me through his library, 
taking down volume after volume, until he gave me a 
copy of each of his valuable works, with his autograph 
in every one. He then showed me the pictures of all 
his family, and, finally, stepped to his desk and drew a 
cheque for a hundred rupees, to help me on in my con- 
templated school. Kind Archdeacon Pratt followed 
with another fifty, and a nice volume of his own, with 
his autograph. So I returned home richly laden. 

The next day I heard the Bishop preach in the 
cathedral. His theme was the new birth. He was 
very feeble, and obliged to lean upon the Archdeacon for 
support in the pulpit. I could only think of Aaron 
holding up the hands of Moses, for he seemed to be 
stepping into the portals of heaven, and very soon after 
he entered his Father's house of many mansions. 

One of the most interesting women I saw in Calcutta 
was Madam Ellerton, at that time the oldest inhabitant 
in Calcutta. She had been the friend of Heber, of 
Carey, of Martyn, and a long line of worthies. She drew 
me down over her, clasped her withered arms around 
my neck, and prayed for me till my own tears mingled 
with hers. 

Madam Ellerton had lived with the Bishop many 
years, and he very tenderly, while I was there, bade her 
have no anxiety about her burial, for he had seen her 
tomb prepared by the side of his own in the cathedral ! 

The native gentlemen who interested me particularly 
were Lai Beharrie Da and Lai Beharrie Singh. I heard 
Lai Beharrie Da preach in English to a large audience 


in the Scotch Kirk from these words : " Let us go up 
and possess the land, for we are able." I thought it 
one of the best Missionary sermons I ever heard. It 
was glowing with light, and faith, and zeal for his 
Master. He is an ordained Missionary, and Professor 
in the Dull College. He has recently married a Parsee 
wife of great intelligence. 

At Beharrie Singh's house I met a party of native 
gentlemen, educated pundits and baboos, all of whom 
declared their intention to do what they could to change 
the degraded condition of their women. Beharrie Singh 
gave me a copy of a History of Female Education in 
India, written by himself. 

During tea I expected that none but the Christians 
would eat with me ; but at last Vidyasagur took up his 
cup, and began to sip his tea. Then the others followed, 
and although they declined cake, yet this was perhaps a 
nearer approach to eating with a Christian than they 
had ever made in their lives. 

Mrs. Singh was Mary Sutton. She accompanied 
Mrs. Sutton, of the Orissa mission, to America, and 
was educated by Baptist ladies in Boston, Mass. She 
is a highly intelligent person, pretty, graceful, and a 
devoted helper to her husband. When I saw her she 
was teaching a little school of Mussulman children, and 
it was she who interested one of the donors to the school 
to send me a hundred rupees. Mrs. Sutton very kindly 
obtained for me a set of Hindu gods, drawn and coloured 
by a Hindu painter. The cost was, I believe, a rupee a 
piece. They have been very useful to me in explaining 



Hindu idolatry ; and if Missionaries desire to send home 
anything from Calcutta, these might awaken more inte- 
rest than anything else found there. 

The interest in the Tounghoo mission increased every 
day until I left the city. The Wylies, the Moncrieffs, 
the Milnes, and Mrs. Lushington were pleading the 
cause of the poor and needy. Everybody I was intro- 
duced to helped me in some way or other. Even my 
hostess, in Sudder street, kind Mrs. Taylor, although 
taking boarders to help her own children, would accept 
no payment from me. Her son, too, set about teaching 
my boys Latin, and would spend hours in giving them 
instruction, after coming home weary from his day's 
labours. Why was all this kindness shown to a stranger ? 
For the Master's sake. 

Time would fail me to tell of all the friends raised up 
there, but when I stepped on board the steamer for 
Rangoon, in March, my soul was running over with 
love and wonder. 

I hastened to my cabin, shut the door, and held up 
before the Almighty the manna He had given us : — 


For the Girl's School in Tounghoo . . . . 2,231 
For the same in Books and Prints from the 

Calcutta Tract Society 1 00 

For the Preachers and General Purposes . . 614 
For printing the Sermon on the Mount in 

Bghai 100 

For personal support, by Mrs. Wylie and 

Mrs. Moncrieff 300 


Besides the grant of land for the school, and a grant 
from the Calcutta Bible Society for printing several 
parts of the Bible, under Mr. Mason, in Bghai Karen ; 
altogether in value more than six thousand rupees, or 
three thousand dollars. 

All this, too, without asking for a penny ! and given 
by friends who did not stop to ask if the converts 
would be of their church, or of any other, but simply 
if they could be redeemed and elevated to glorify Em- 

I assure you, reader, I felt as if I had just come to 
the knowledge of what God could do. It seemed too 
wonderful for me ; I could only praise, and lay my head 
in the dust. 

Nor did the great I AM leave the work here. On 
reaching Rangoon, I simply sent my card to Colonel 
Phayre, the Commissioner of Pegu, and a plan of the 
contemplated school to our old Deputy Commissioner of 
Tounghoo, who had helped me about the slave children. 
Immediately there came rattling in nearly a hundred 
rupees from Government officers there. 

I called on Mrs. Bell, the wife of the Commander- 
in-Chief in Burrnah, and they invited an interesting 
circle for prayer, for both General and Mrs. Bell are 
working Christians. The General himself performs 
the two-fold part of preacher to his officers, and 
Missionary to the heathen ; and on leaving their hos- 
pitable mansion, he sent after me a roll of two hundred 
rupees ! 

If these friends, or others there, should happen to see 

V. 2 


these pages, they will forgive me, I hope, and will oblig- 
ingly stand in the Missionary pillory, because I know 
you do want to see them, reader — those dear, kind 
friends who so generously pitied the poor Tounghoo 




On reaching Tounghoo again, who should appear but 
my old Tutauman. Pointing to the north, south, east, 
and west, he said, — 

" Teacheress, among these hills and valleys there are 
ninety-six churches, ninety-six chapels, ninety-six Chris- 
tian schools, and two thousand six hundred baptized 
converts." The tidings were perfectly bewildering. 
Men who three years before had never heard of Jesus. 

In came the young preachers too, many of them my 
old pupils, from every point of the compass, with their 
troops of pupils, and one company bearing palm leaves — 
a real oriental triumph ! Was it any wonder if I was 
exhilarated ? I could not help writing back to dear 
Mrs. Wylie, who had so* tenderly sympathized with us : 
" I assure you I feel half the time as if out of the body. 
I don't think I could ask any more joy ; for I am sure 
Emmanuel is with us, and His holy, lovely likeness, in 
a greater or less degree, is shining all around us." 

One day I was saying to one of the young school- 
masters, that it was delightful to teach the people to 
read, it was so blessed to feed on God's word. " Yes," 


he answered immediately, " ' Blessed are they who do 
hunger and thirst after righteousness : for they shall be 
filled.' I read that in the holy book of Matthew." 

These converts had already raised seven hundred 
rupees for books, eight hundred for medicines, besides 
building nearly a hundred chapels themselves alone, sup- 
porting nearly a hundred preachers and schoolmasters ; 
and in the last year they had raised several hundred 
rupees for a young men's school. How could I, then, 
expect them to enter upon the new undertaking of sup- 
porting schools for girls ? Quala, too, on whom I had 
most relied to further the plan, only said, " As for the 
food, the Christians can do it." He had heard that the 
Christians in America looked upon the design with 
doubt. He supposed it was because men did not ap- 
prove in America of women teachers. So he would be 
very wise ; he would take no ground at all. He would 
neither oppose nor help. 

Looking over the towering mountains of the land, the 
scattered hamlets of the people, their drained purses, 
and many dialects, all new to me, and then this bitter 
disappointment in one on whom I had counted on as a 
pillar of strength — shall I confess my weakness ? Fear, 
an indescribable, painful sense of fear, came over me, 
and, for a time, overpowered every other emotion. I 
could see no help for all those thousands of Tounghoo 
women, even after having just witnessed the power of 
the Almighty arm. I retired at night only to tosa 
from side to side ; I arose in the morning only to fear 
and grieve. 


But the Lord gave strength, and it was not long that 
faith stood so faltering. For a Christian to doubt and 
fear when his Captain gives the word, " Forward ! " is 
like a soldier stopping under marching orders to inquire 
about the commissariat supplies. I determined to obey, 
and leave results to the Master. Peace and joy inde- 
scribable followed this determination ; and, presently, one 
of the highest chiefs sent in three young women, very 
pretty and clever, but not a rupee nor a kernel of rice 
with them, nor a word about any support. Then arose 
another trial of faith. If I sent them back, no more 
would come down ; if I took them and fed them myself, 
it would be a ruinous precedent. I called the girls, 
told them every particular, threw the burden of respon- 
sibility upon them, explained to them how momentous 
was the future, how much depended on their stay with 
us, and then proposed a night of fasting and prayer. 
We spent it mostly together, pleading with heaven, and 
before morning those three young women were quite as 
deeply embued with the spirit of the undertaking as I 
was myself. 

Next evening a chief came in bringing eleven rupees 
for the young men's school. 

"Go and give it to mama for the girls/' said Mr. 

" The girls ! " he replied, with a side look of disdain. 

" Yes, for the girls. They have nothing to eat. They 
need food as well as the boys." 

Very reluctantly the chief came and handed me the 
eleven rupees. 


" Stop, Nah Khan," I said, taking a low stool beside 
him. " Look at this/' spreading out the ground plan of 
my contemplated building, and explaining to him the 
whole undertaking. I also told him that I was obliged 
to give up my own support to do this. 

" And how is mama to get her curry and rice?" he 

" Ah ! Qualay, God's ravens are still in the world,'' 
I answered ; when he smiled understandingly, and turn- 
ing to his followers, in an undertone he said, — 

" Think we must send mama the great pig !" 

Sure enough, a few days afterwards down came the 
great pig — such a size — laced up in bamboos, borne by 
seven men, squealing so as to startle the officers all the 
way through the cantonments. On they came, and laid 
it an offering at my door, an offering of highland sym- 
pathy ! The same day my servant went with them to 
market and sold the squealer for twenty-two rupees. 
With this, and the eleven rupees, I was enabled to 
support the girls a whole term. 

Seeing I was really in earnest, and had even sold the 
pig to help, the Nah Khan and his men began also to 
feel an inspiration about the work. From this time he 
encouraged and cheered us on. Caleb-like, he said : — 
" Let the teacheress have no fear. We are able, and we 
will do all she requires." 

Thus God in mercy gave strength and comfort. The 
story soon spread, and deputations began to pour in 
desiring to see the taguau or plan which I had marked 
out for the institute. With each company I spent hours 


in explaining the plan, and the advantage of having the 
women taught so as to keep the schools, and leave the 
young men free to go beyond, preaching the Gospel. 
Some opposed strongly, and I would leave them in a 
high dispute with one another about the shame of having 
•women teachers, and the impropriety of allowing their 
daughters to learn more than their parents knew. They 
would become lazy, they would beat out paddy no more, 
it was argued. They would become proud, and would 
no longer obey their husbands. Others, however, saw 
the advantages, and particularly the advantages of hav- 
ing a piece of land of their own, and a large handsome 
house of their own. The liberal party finally prevailed, 
and all returned to bring in their pledges and contribu- 
tions. Each embassy now brought a letter pledging his 
chief and people to carry on the school, and support it ; 
accompanying the letter with their money, varying from 
one rupee to thirty rupees. 

Next came the search after a building spot. The 
Deputy Commissioner proposed a ride on horseback ; so 
one morning before breakfast away I went with our 
mutual friend, the Rev. Mr. Whittaker. The Commis- 
sioner was mounted on a cream-coloured pony, with black 
mane, cut close, and a sweeping black tail. The pretty 
creature had a fine arching neck, and seemed to know 
exactly who she carried, for she stepped off as proudly 
as Bucephalus. My pony, which Mrs. Whittaker had 
kindly lent me, was also a Shan, but much smaller. I 
had not been on horseback for twelve years, so that this 
was an adventure. The Commissioner led the way, and 


on we went over all sorts of places, down the river, over 
the plains, and at last he came up to a very steep ridge 
of table land, which he thought would make a splendid 
site for a school. On the top was a pagoda with a long 
graduated ascent of paved steps from the base to the 
summit. Captain D'Oyly rode on, as if there were 
nothing to impede us, right up the brick steps. 

"Shall I come?" I asked timidly, yet with no 
thought in the world but that of implicit obedience. 

" Yes, Mrs. Mason, come up," he answered quietly, 
turning his head with a grave, careless air. So on I 
went, up, up, up, till I verily thought the pony must 
lose his balance and I tumble backwards over his head. 
As soon as we reached the summit, he turned to me with 
a half-concealed triumphant expression, — 

" You 're a capital rider, Mrs. Mason, and you are 
quite tractable !" 

Then I saw the mischief in his eye, and understood he 
had led me straight up the pagoda just for sport. We 
had a much harder time getting down, and it was not 
without some peril. 

When I asked the Captain what he played such a ruse 
for, he answered with his judicial smile, — 

" Oh ! I saw you could lead Karens. I wanted to see 
if you could follow !" 

It was all in vain, however, our scaling the Myugyee 
pagoda. Not a foot of land could we find available, for 
the military lines lay far and near, stretching in every 
direction. Once we saw a magnificent old mango near 
the river, and galloped off, thinking then we had surely 


got beyond their limits ; but lo, to our great vexation, 
there were twenty or thirty sappers slashing down the 
reeds and grasses to build an hospital ! Then we turned 
and galloped as far the other way to a clump of palms 
standing all alone as much as two miles from the can- 
tonments ; but there they were, the forever-present bush- 
men, putting up a stable. So, after searching in vain 
till ten o'clock, we gave up and went home. 

The next day I started again with Karens, and for 
five days we scoured the country in every direction, and 
found nothing. I was resolved to get on to the river, so 
that the Karens could have the advantages of a river 
frontage for their boats, bamboos, and produce, as well as 
water free for themselves and their cattle, besides pro- 
tection against fires, and a clear way downward, should 
they be obliged to flee from the Burmese. 

Finally, the Nah Khans, the two chief Karens who 
had been appointed magistrates, suggested that we 
should go into the jungle on the east side of the Sit- 
tang river, opposite to the old fort, on a spot where 
they said all the Karen paths met. It was a wild 
jungle, but a particularly convenient place for all the 

" Very well," the Deputy Commissioner replied, " 1 
will go over with you, and we will mark off as much as 
you want." 

Recollecting the pagoda jaunt, I engaged "him in an 
interesting conversation till he quite forgot the land and 
walk. He suddenly recollected his promise, and stopping 
short, said, — 


" Do you want a state here, Mrs. Mason ? How far 
are you going V 

" Only to that old tree ; that will make a fine boun- 
dary," I answered, pressing on to an ancient banyan that 
was waving fifty feet over the river. 

He looked back in utter amazement at the distance 
we had gone over, and said something about having it 
measured. I sus;o;ested that he might let us cut down 
the jungle first, and then it could be -seen how much 
space there really was. 

" Well, call your people, and go to work quickly, but 
I can't promise you will get all that. 

Immediately about fifty came down to clear the land, 
but applied to me for food. I counted up all they had 
brought in for the school, and the whole amounted to 
one hundred rupees. I pointed to my twenty-four pupils, 
and assured them it would be impossible for me to feed 
them also. But I handed them twenty-five rupees, 
telling them they had better appoint two of their number 
to buy and cook for the whole. The work would then 
go on much more rapidly. 

Two days passed, when they came again, saying the 
money was all gone. At first I felt disposed to rebuke 
them, but turned to my closet for an hour, giving 
the time to prayer and to my dear little help-book, 
" Remedies against Satan's Devices." In that time 
God taught me what to do, and strength was given for 
the day. Having first obtained permission of Mr. 
Mason, I went out. 

" Chiefs, can you build me a house ?" I asked. 


" Oh ! yes ; if mama would live in a Karen house." 

" How long would it take ?" 

" We could put one up to-morrow." 

" Very well. You go and put me up a house, and I 
will take the girls all over the river. Then I will buy 
food in the bazaar, and the girls will do the cooking if 
you think all would like this ? " 

" Never could eyes open so wide. They seemed 
relieved of a tremendous burden, and, springing to their 
feet, they gave orders to their men, right and left, while 
I handed them ten rupees more to sustain them while 
building my house. The next evening I bade adieu to 
home and all home comforts. They had cleared two 
spots about forty feet square, and the school-house or 
shanty they had built me was only twenty feet square, 
set up two feet above the damp ground, enclosed by 
reeds and covered with grasses. To this we removed 
the next evening with our books and twenty-four girls ; 
and here was taught the first girls' school in Tounghoo. 
At evening we assembled for prayers, and I addressed 
them kindly, praising them for the efforts they had made, 
and encouraging them to hope for success if they would 
let the girls cook for them all. To this several strongly 
objected, alleging that Bghai food and Paku food were 
not the same, and their manner of cooking not the same. 
I then engaged that Bghai girls should cook for Bghais, 
and Paku girls for Pakus, upon which all sung the 
doxology most heartily, and every heart beat as strong as 

The next day, on the 4th of August, 1857, the chiefs 


having arrived, we held a convocation in the little bam- 
boo chapel which they had erected under four ancient 
mango trees some eighty feet high, and organized the 
Karen Education Society. Forty chiefs were pre- 
sent, and twenty were represented by letter. The ses- 
sion continued until the 7th. They chose a Board of 
Managers, consisting of one Paku, one Mauniepaga, one 
Mopaga, one Bghai, one Pant -Bghai, and one English, 
besides Captain D'Oyly, who kindly consented to act as 

One of the first resolutions of the society was to sup- 
port and carry on themselves the National Female 
Institute, as they expressed it, " down to remotest 
generations." The Nah Kahn Qualay stirred up the 
people to bring in their pledges, and my Tutuaman, 
Shapau, set off through the Bghai hills for three 
months, explaining the plan to all the Bghai villages, 
and soon pledge letters came in from every quarter. 

A few of these letters I will give, for I do really think 
they are curious and interesting documents, considering 
they are entirely the composition of these wild Karens. 
These are specimens of more than two hundred letters 
now beside me, which have been voluntarily sent in by 
native churches. The first letter was 

From Pwapau, the Teacher of Klurlah. 

" Dear Teacheress of Tounghoo, 

" Grace, mercy, and peace be with thee for ever ! 
There are some young women here who do desire to study 


with mama. We send two of them, who pledge them- 
selves to study hard and become teachers, and the people 
promise to support them. We send now four rupees 
eight annas. 

" Pwapau the Teacher of Klurlah." 

The same clan : — 

" From the Chiefs of Hoomuduc. 

" We are greatly pleased, and we send four girls im- 
mediately to study. These we have examined, and they 
engage to teach school, and do everything they can to 
build up Christ's kingdom. We send them quick that 
they may not be behind the others." 

From the Mopaga Tribe : — 
" Teacher and Teacheress, 

" The plan devised for us we all like much. We will 
give up our children to study in the great zayat about 
to be erected, and will furnish them food. All agree 
perfectly to the Committee of Seven, and we now hope 
to become acquainted with books. We write this letter 
that the teachers may know that we agree with glad 

" The doings of the teachers afford us great pleasure. 

" May peace and happiness rest on our helpers ! 
" Written for the Church of Panapoo." 

From the Pant-Bghai Tribe : — 
" Teacheress, 

" That which thou hast devised, erecting a building 
for us, hits the minds of all, both men and women. We 


agree with great glad hearts, and will send our children 
and grand-children to study, and we will also furnish 
thern support. 

" We will righteously perform the things to which we 
here agree, hoth men and women pledging their words ; 
and in order that mama may know our designs, we 
have written this letter." 




" You will surely die there, Mrs. Mason." This was 
our civil surgeon's belief, and the fear of all our friends ; 
for every one knows how unhealthy it is to live in the 
midst of new clearings day and night, and especially in 
a hot climate, where vegetation decomposes so rapidly. 

" But, doctor, how do your officers do when bringing 
your men before an enemy ? " 

" Oh ! we go first, of course/' he answered, laughing. 

" When you know you may get shot first ? " 

" Yes." 

" Then you see why my husband lets me go and live 
in the clearings." 

There is nothing so important, when labouring to 
raise up a heathen people, as to let them see that you 
believe yourself what you teach them. If you would 
have them trust, you must trust yourself. If you would 
have them enter into the spirit of that diamond precept, 
" Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness," 
you must make that kingdom first in the little unnotice- 
able actions' of every-day • life, not unnoticed by the 
heathen. Little things are what they judge by alto- 
gether, like little children, and like God too. The 
minute hand is their guide, not the hour hand. There- 



fore my dear husband was happy in this arrangement, 
although, from July, 1857, to July, 1858, I could only 
have Saturdays for home duties. 

Saturday morning two of the school girls would go 
over, and while taking lessons in sweeping, cleaning, 
and tasteful arrangement, would put everything "to 
rights " in Mr. Mason's qtiarters. In the morning the 
dhoby always came with the week's washing, and took 
away for the next week, by which plan everything was 
changed on Saturday, and all ready for quiet on the 
Sabbath.* Then the cook's market bill for the week 
was to be settled, and directions given for the next 
week, and this had to be done for my husband's table, 
for my own, for the girls' school, for the young men's 
school, and for the two Karen hospitals ; measuring out, 
every Saturday, the tea, the coffee, the sugar, the salt, 
the flour, the curry-powder, the rice, and even the lamp- 
oil, for every day through the week. By noon the 
domestic business was completed, and the remainder of 
the day was a real treat to us both. Then out came 
my dear husband's letters and scientific papers, with my 
" woman's plans " to be sifted and turned over by the 
wisdom and genial heart of one of the most indulgent of 
husbands, and so these hours were exclusively devoted 
to each other. 

We were greatly favoured in having good servants. 
Appoo takes care of all my husband's wants, while our 

* Everybody knows, I suppose, that in hot climates linen has to 
be changed every day ; so that it is always necessary to have one or 
two dozen changes on hand at once. 


friend, the mussulman, keeps all the wardrobes in order. 
I have heard of legislators decreeing it the duty of 
woman to "smile on her husband and darn his stock- 
ings ! " Shades of Menu and Fo ! Smile, of course, we 
will on our husbands ; but as for the darning — all non- 
sense ! old Baboo Hoosim can do it a thousand times 
better than I can. He is our family tailor. Every 
Saturday morning, at six o'clock, this tall, white- 
gowned spectre appears in his Cashmire turban and 
flowing white beard on our verandah. Then out come 
the drawers, when everything and anything that wants 
repairing is handed over to him. He will find buttons, 
and sew them on to all the wristbands, make up shirts 
or dresses, trousers or mantles, no matter which ; fit up 
your bed-room with sheets, pillow-slips, towels, all and 
everything, for less money than it would cost you to 
furnish materials ; because a foreigner always has to 
pay a third more for everything than a native. So I 
let the servants darn, and I superintend. This latter 
must never be left to them, as they soon rattle through 
the purse, if you do. 

Then little Appoo ; he's such a capital fellow ! Just 
like his master — I mean, he is just as punctilious about 
the hours.* His curry is always right, with the whitest 

* I have one of the most stereotyped husbands that ever lived. 
Up every morning over his tea and toast at six o'clock, then comes 
a short walk, then at his translations till prayer time, breakfast at 
nine, study till eleven, lie down till twelve, at work again till two, 
then a short nap, a bath, dinner, another walk, rest an hour, tea at 
eight, translate till eleven. Week after week always the same, 
except when broken up by jungle travelling. 

N 2 


rice, everything smoking hot, and just at the hour. 
At three o'clock precisely, in comes the hot water for 
master's bath. At seven o'clock precisely comes his 
unchangeable dinner of curry and rice, or beef steak, 
fried plantains, and sweet potatoes, with now and then 
the daintiest little custard " for master," or a nice cup 
of arrowroot pudding. 

With my Yankee notions of housewifery, I for some 
time endeavoifred to tempt my husband to other dishes, 
which I prepared with great care myself ; but, although 
he would politely taste them and pronounce them excel- 
lent, yet I saw he spent no thought on them, and only 
tasted from mere politeness. So I gave up the cook- 
house, much to his satisfaction, and devoted my time to 
the people. The second year I was able to leave the 
Karens also on Wednesday nights, and take our boys to 
join my husband, which afforded us much cause for 
thankfulness, as the separations of the first year had 
been to us both long and painful. 

Not a little cankering care and anxiety I had in 
many ways, concerning the land matters and the 

The Karens at this time were erecting twelve guard- 
houses for twelve of the largest villages, in a parallelo- 
gram encircling the Institute, and cultivating ground 
around them. They proposed to make a public road 
around all, and, perhaps, to take up the jungle beyond 
and build a small Karen settlement, if the taxes should 
be satisfactorily arranged, which the Deputy Commis- 
sioner nes-ociated for them. 


The Acting Commissioner, Captain Hopkinson, stated 
that he could not, without seeing or visiting the spot 
himself, or much further information, sanction the grant 
of land.* 

Upon which, Captain D'Oyly wrote the following- 
comforting little note to me : — 

" My dear Mrs. Mason, 

" Do not be downcast. We must have a talk about 
this, and I hope we may be able to get the Commissioner 
to change his mind. 

"It would never do to let the labour and enthusiasm 
of the Karens be thrown away. No, indeed ! Be as 
bold in your present difficulties as you were when you 
rode up the steps of the Myugyee pagoda, and all will 
come right. Write yourself, and represent your own 
case, and I will forward it." 

The following letter was therefore forwarded : — 

" To Captain H. Hopkinson, Commissioner of Pegu. 

" Sir, 

" I take the liberty of writing to you, as Captain 
D'Oyly requests me to do so, concerning the land for 
which I have applied on account of the Karen Female 

" I would first beg permission to say a word in behalf 
of these mountain tribes of Tounghoo." 

* Colonel Phayre, the Chief Commissioner of Pegu, was then in 
Italy for his health, and Capt. Hopkinson, Commissioner of Tenas- 
serim, was in charge. 


Here followed a brief account of the Karens, and their 
r eadiness to receive Christian books. 

" From the lowest drunkenness thousands have risen 
up to sobriety, diligence, and worth. From the lowest 
ignorance they have become able mathematicians, prin- 
ters, and teachers. Some of the most eloquent orators I 
ever heard speak were Karens, and they have been 
educated almost entirely in their own vernacular tongue. 
In Touno-hoo the work of conversion and education has 
been most remarkable." 

After mentioning the young men's advancement and 
Quala's devotion, the letter continued : — 

" But for the education of the Karen women, very 
little has been done in Tounghoo, and for the Burmese 
women nothing at all. 

" For many years it has been my earnest desire to 
estal lish a school for girls which should embrace all the 
tribes, bring out and concentrate their energies and 
philanthropic feelings in the one great object of educa- 
tion, and be to the Christian clans among the natives 
what Delphi was to the tribes of Greece. God has 
in the most wonderful manner opened the way for a 


" You know the grant so graciously given me by 
Government. It is true I asked only for a ' small piece 
of land,' but then there was to be a 'well and fruit- 
trees,' which implies a cultivated piece of ground, and 
this was what Government expected me to have. But 


the military and civil lines occupy almost every desirable 
spot in Tounghoo. I have, therefore, taken an un- 
broken jungle. The labour of subduing this jungle and 
keeping the land clear will be very great. Of course, 
we would not desire to have such a piece of land unless 
compensation could be made in some way for cultivated 
ground, ' the well and fruit-trees/ It takes a long time 
for fruit-trees to grow, and they are invaluable for a 
school. Therefore it is that I ask for a larger piece 
of land. 

" For a public institution for a hundred girls we re- 
quire ground sufficient for the school-house, a house for 
the steward, the teacher, a play-ground, a garden, a 
grazing-piece, dormitories, out-offices, guard-house, and 
a spot for a chapel. I would, therefore, earnestly beg 
you will make us the following grants : — 

" 1st. — The whole piece of land, measuring thirty-two 
and a-half acres. 

" 2nd. — Permission to erect twelve guard-houses on 
the outskirts of this piece for the protection of the school, 
free of rent, the occupants paying their annual capita- 
tion taxes in the districts to which they respectively 
belong. f 

« 3rd. — Permission for the Karens, who may take up 
land beyond the school for cultivation, to pay their capi- 
tation taxes in the districts where they belong, for the 
three years which Government allows to bring the land 
under cultivation. 

4th. — Five hundred rupees towards making the new 
road required round our land. This is asked because the 

184 THANKS. 

road being a public one for all the villages, it seems 
hard that we should do the work alone. 

" I am, Sir, your humble servant, 

" Ellen B. Mason." 

The letter was forwarded by Captain D'Oyly, and 
Captain Hopkinson replied in the most gentlemanly 
terms, granting, finally, the whole piece of land, per- 
mission for the guard-houses free of rent, permission to 
make the road around the boundary ; but he said, — 
" Mrs. Mason need not make one any better than the 
native road that she found on the place." He also 
granted all I asked in regard to taxes, and, moreover, 
he would give the Karens permission to take up just 
as much land as they could cultivate, free of taxes for 
ten years. 

On the reception of this, the Karens gave ringing 
cheers for D'Oyly and Hopkinson ! 

The next Sunday was appointed as a day of thanks- 
giving throughout the jungles, and many warm heart - 
prayers ascended on that day from the glens and 
pinnacles for the rulers who had thus helped us. 

Changes, however, prevented the deed from being 
made out until the return of Col. Phayre, when I again 
laid the subject before him. The following is an extract 
from his very kind reply : — 

On the Irrawaddy, April 12th, 1858. 
" My dear Mrs. Mason, 

" / fully appreciate the benefit which will result 


from your determination to educate the Karens as 
Christian men, and to make them good agriculturalists. 

" I look forward with great pleasure, in my next visit 
to Tounghoo, to seeing your Karen Female School, and 
witnessing the assembly of the whole of your Karens 
at evening worship. I feel that a great work is going 
on, and that it is the duty of all to further it to the 
utmost of their ability. 

"May I ask you to send me a brief sketch of the 
Karen Female School after the close of the present 
term, — the number of scholars, what they are taught, 
their age, the tribes they belong to, and all particulars 
which you think would be interesting. The Government 
will, I am sure, be glad to learn all particulars. When 
you have scholars of different tribes, do you teach each 
in their own dialect ? 

" Believe me, very sincerely yours, 

"A. P. Phaybe." 

My answer was accordingly : — 

" The girls are all instructed in two dialects — the 
Paku and Bghai. They are making most satisfactory 
progress in the study of Christianity, geography, history, 
arithmetic, elementary astronomy, letter-writing, the 
laws of health, housekeeping, nursing the sick, and 
teaching ; and are being carefully trained in habits of 
order, punctuality, and cleanliness." 

It was soon after this that our Deputy Commissioner 
was promoted, and a new ruler arrived in Tounghoo. 
Directions were immediately given by the Commissioner 


for the title deed to be made out, but that deputy a few 
months after left the commission entirely. Then busi- 
ness fell into the hands of a subordinate officer, and so 
the saddest delays occurred after the order for the deed 
had been issued, causing me and the Karens the most 
intense anxiety for two years, and by circumstances over 
which the Commissioner had no control. This delay was 
caused mostly by bad men, who retarded the advance- 
ment of female education in the land. 

Finally, Colonel Phayre gave with his own hand the 
Title Deed, as follows : — 


" Under the authority and sanction conveyed 
from the Governor-General op India, in Council, in 
letter No. 1,204, dated 16th March, 1857, from the 
Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign 
Department, to the address of the Commissioner of 
Pegu, the said Commissioner doth hereby, as a special 
case, in order that sound education and civilization 
may be imparted and extended among the karen 
nation, grant unto the karen education society of 
the district of tounghoo all that parcel of land 
situated on the east bank of the river slttang, near 
the city of tounghoo, now in the occupation of the 
said Education Society, and containing about thirty- 

be held in trust by mrs. ellen b. mason for the 
said Education Society, until her decease, when it 


may be taken in charge by the karen board op 
Managers of the said Society, in connexion with any 
one person whom the said mbs. ellen b. mason may 
have appointed to co-operate with the said society 
or Board of Managers, as their Trustee and Agent. 
And this grant shall continue and have effect as 
long as the land granted, and the building or build- 
ings thereon, shall be used for and devoted to the 
objects on account of which the grant is made ; 
namely, for the establishment of female schools and 
other institutions, whereby a sound education may 
be imparted to the karen nation in the district 
of tounghoo, and the blessings of civilization be 
extended to them. 

" In witness whereof, I HAVE hereunto set my hand 



"A. P. PHAYRE, Commissioner of Pegu." 
TODNGHOO, 29th July, 1859/' 

I replied, "Oh how glad are we of this Title Deed ! 
Every Christian Karen on these mountains will thank 
our Government for it every day as long as they live/' 
The position was a central one, and approved as of easy 
access to the great mass of the Karen population. 

I think it had cost me to obtain it as many &s fifty 
letters. Two years, too, of asking and waiting before 
the Throne. But God did not forget to be gracious. 

" Happy is he who hath the God of Jacob for 





" Teachers, I wonder if I love God with all my 
strength. I am thinking if I can do this." 

These words were uttered by a very wild chief of the 
Pant-Bghai tribe. He, with others, felt it a most 
formidable undertaking, the clearing thirty acres of 
land, exceedingly formidable for wild Karens. The 
Nah Khans divided out the whole ground into four wards, 
giving one to each of the principal clans, so that every 
one, on going through the jungle, would see "Paku ward," 
" Mopaga ward," " Bghai ward," and " Mauniepaga 
ward " posted upon the stakes all along the whole tract. 

It is August, and the rains are pouring heavily, but 
the news spreads like a fire in the jungle. " The 
Karens have got a Canaan. God has given us a Holy 
Land ! " and mountain echoes to mountain, " Come to 
the work ! " and come they do in troops of five, ten, 
fifteen, twenty, until two or three hundred cover the 
jungle. Drenched with rain, down they pour, over crags 
and snags, through bogs and swollen rivers up to their 
necks, and not a rag of clothing to change, so poor 
they are. 


" Dahs, dalis, mama ! Give us dalis ! " (long stout 
knives) ; for a fourth part of the Bghais bring nothing 
to work with, so I must buy for them spades and hoes, 
to the amount of nearly a hundred rupees out of the 
general fund which the whole supply. These, too, require 
care, and the men are constantly going and coming, so 
two of the girls are appointed stewardesses of the tools 
to give out and receive back, taking the leaders' names 
in each company. Four others are entrusted with the 
marketing ; but the rations I give out daily myself to 
all the companies, so that there shall be no injustice ; 
besides, I find it much more economical. The girls cook 
for them with perfect cheerfulness, and all work indeed 
as Nehemiah's men did building up the wall. 

You should have seen the heaps of presents coming 
to me. On one side, rolls of mats, ten feet high ; on 
another, long bamboo joints of honey ; on another piles 
of baskets, and a whole yard full of hens and chickens 
before the door. You know this is custom a L 'Orient. 
On first visiting any superior, they lay before him some 
token of friendship, or rather of homage. 

We let them bring as much as they like, but never 
take for ourselves a single anna's worth, neither Mr. 
Mason, nor I, nor our children. We say to them, " It 
is well, but we will set it all to the school account," 
and every mat, basket, egg, and fowl, every pound of 
beeswax or bamboo of honey which we use for ourselves, 
I pay for at the full market price, and put it into the 
school funds. This has always been Mr. Mason's 
custom and my own, and I believe it is far more 


pleasing to God than it would be to take presents from 
such poor converts. Both Mr. Mason and Quala, at 
the close of 1856, reported : " Among the Bghais, things 
are going back," — but this new school plan, which 
brought the tribes to work altogether, seemed to have a 
mesmeric effect. It made the clans acquainted with 
each other, drew forth their sympathies, much increased 
their mutual love, and their interest in one another's 
welfare ; our Bible studies also greatly aided these 
desirable results. 

It is morning. The girls are at their rice pots. I 
go to look over the work, advising with the chiefs, and 
encouraging their men, as I always find that if I have 
visited any spot in the morning, the men will accom- 
plish double the work there during the day. 

But they are still weak — very weak. One morning I 
find them clearing around the thorn bushes, but have no 
intention of going into such perilous-looking clumps. 
A straggling thorn bush runs through the whole tract, 
which increases very rapidly, and grows into trees all 
woven and interwoven so as to be quite impenetrable. 
These the chiefs declare must remain, for not a man will 
venture into those awful meshes. My two daring boys 
snatch the dahs from the chiefs' hands, dash in, Saxon- 
like, slashing right and left, and soon one large clump 
is laid low. At twilight the torch is applied, and 
" Away goes one mountain," they shout. 

The roots spread far and wide, and in that land will 
be up again in a week ; so again our boys rush into the 
work there in the moonlight, and rafts of thorns float 


down the river. After this, whenever they came to a 
thicket of thorns, the chiefs would cry out, "Remember 
the little teachers," when the young men and boys 
would attack them with a vengeance; but, of course, 
with bare feet, it was very unenviable work. 

The middle of the day I devote to my school, leaving 
the men to do as they choose ; some working, others 
sleeping, but in the evening comes our Bible-reading. 
This is deeply interesting. Imagine as follows : — 

" I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of 
God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice," 
reads the assistant in Paku. 

" I beseech you, therefore, brethren," &c, respond the 

" I beseech you, therefore, brethren," &c, reads the 
assistant in Bghai. 

"1 beseech you, therefore, brethren," &c, respond 
the congregation in Bghai. 

" What is it the Apostle wants the heathen converts 
to do ? You may all answer ; chiefs, women, young 
men, young women, tell what you think. What is a 
living sacrifice ? How can we make a sacrifice every 
day, and keep about our work ? " Then, 

" What about these mercies of God ? " &c. 

This is something new, and every eye begins to dilate, 
showing all are in deep and intense thought, till finally 
the principal chief gives utterance to his views ; then 
another follows, and another, expounding and reasoning, 
until the room presents a most animated scene of discus- 
sion, and all about the Bible. The young women, too, 


are encouraged to express their thoughts, but this arouses 
the young preachers. 

" Mama, does not the Apostle Paul Bay, ' I suffer 
not a woman to teach?' yet you call on the young 
women here in the presence of the men ?" 

"Ay, ay, Master Shemoon, but this is our Bible 
lesson. It belongs to the girls' school; and as I. too, am 
a woman, I fear yon will all have to Btay away, 01 let 
the jrirls talk." They chose the latter alternative, and 
these happy Bible readings were never to be forgotten 
by either party. The questions osnally led to earnest 
exhortations, which alw 1 by a hearty applica- 

tion of the text to the business in hand. 

Again turning from the assistants to the chiefs, I try 
to have them feel that, as they are all heads of families 
and heads of villages, it is eminently desirable that they 
should understand the Scriptures, so as to instruct their 
people, and hold up the hands of their teachers, point- 
ing them to Abraham. The question is then put : 

"What shall be our subject to-night '. " 

"Faithfulness," it may be, cries a ?oice below the 
platform, and so we take Faithfulness. 

" Well, who does God command to be faithful ? Does 
He say anything about it to teachers ? Look at 1 Tim. 
i. 12." 

" The Apostle thanks the Lord that He counted him 
faithful," some one answers. 

" See Eph. vi. 21." 

" He says Tychicus was faithful," calls out timidly a 
boy from the corner. 


" Is anything said to chiefs ? Look at Gal. iii. 9." 

" Abraham is called faithful." 

" Anything to the Board of Managers ? 1 Cor. iv. 2." 

" It is required in stewards that a man be found 

"Anything to wives ? 1 Tim. iii. 11." 

" Wives are commanded to be faithful in all things." 

" Anything to children ? Titus i. 6." 

" Parents are blessed when they have faithful children, 
not unruly." 

" Anything to servants ? Matt. xxv. 21." 

" Servants are said to have ' well done ' when faith- 

"What does a faithful servant do? Let each one 

" A dozen voices respond one by one, all telling some 
simple thing pertaining to their every-day life. 

" What does Christ call those who do whatsoever He 
commands them ? " 

" His servants." 

" Where does He say they shall be ? John xii. 26." 

" Where He is." 

" I saw a Daupuica, or brother," says one of the 
Board of Managers ; " he said he had come down to 
work three days. He worked till noon to-day ; then he 
and all his men left for home, so as to reach there 
to-niffht. Now, was he faithful ? " 

" No, no, no," utter a dozen voices of young men and 

u I heard another say to-night he had worked two 



days, when to-day at noon he went to the bazaar, 
and loitered all the rest of the day. Was he faith- 

" No, no." 

" Tell some other way of being wwfaithful." 

" I know," says a young man. " San Yaubu told 
me, if I didn't dig up the roots of the grass and stumps 
around the chapel, I should uot be faithful." 

"And I know," says one of the girls, "if I get tired, 
and don't teach my class well when mama is out, I'm 

And so every one hunts up an answer, and sometimes 
mingles it with simple confession, showing the power of 
the sword of the Spirit. 

" What is it a faithful witness will not do, airls ? 
Look and see. Prov. xiv. 5." 

" Will not lie," answer the girls in low, sweet voices." 

" Who was so faithful that none occasion nor fault 
could be found in him ? Look at Dan. vi. 4." 

" Daniel," shout the boys. 

Then the heart-searchings would be stayed, and all 
asked if any one could tell what was promised to him 
who was faithful in a few things ; and then came again 
their brief, striking applications. 

" What will Christ give to the faithful unto death ? 
Rev. ii. 10." 

" A crown of life. 

But our five favourite topics were, first, " Thy kingdom 
come," in the Lord's prayer ; the armour, in Eph. vi. ; 
the work of tribulation, Rom. v. ; the fruits of the 


Spirit, Gal. v. ; and the great command, " loving our 
neighbour as ourselves." 

One evening the subject was the first commandment. 

" First commandment, ' Thou Shalt have no other 
gods before me/ " calls out the assistant on my right, 
in Paku. 

" Thou shalt have no other gods before me," respond 
the whole assembly. So he goes through. 

" First commandment, ' Thou shalt have no other 
gods before me/ " takes up the assistant on my left, in 
the Bghai dialect. 

The congregation respond, and so we go through 

11 How can you love the Lord with your strength f " 
it was asked. For some time none could answer. 
Presently, chief Pwame rose and said, 

" I think I understand." 

" Well, what is it, chief ? " and every eye was fixed 
on the speaker. 

" What is it ? " he replies, towering to his full height. 
"Why, brethren, if we come here and help mama to 
build up this school for teachers, and clear this land 
for a holy place, we are loving Jesus Christ with our 
strength — that's the way, I think." 

" Er, er," shouts out chief Poquai with a dozen other 
voices. And so it goes on, the interest increasing every 
moment, till ten o'clock, and then no one wants to stop 
— nor I either. 

They always went home talking over the subjects, and 
they would continue talking them over at midnight, in 

o 2 


the morning, in the roads, and in the fields. If any 
point of difficulty arose and it was referred to me, I 
never answered them except by quoting other Scripture, 
or asking questions whkh should lead them to see the 
truth, so that when it was reached, all felt that they had 
got at it themselves. This encouraged them to try, and 
to drink in with delight the waters that could quench all 
their thirst. 

"Sanctify tiiem thbotjgh thy truth ; thy Word 
is truth." This has been ringing in my ears erer since 
we began this work. It afforded them the greatest 
pleasure to know that they were to be made holy by the 
study of God's word. Then they thonght that God had 
given His word as the food for their souls, even as they 
prepared curry and rice for the body, and they knew if 
they did not eat their evening meal, they could not 
possibly dig up roots the next day. 

" No," they would exclaim, " and so if we don't feed 
on God's word every day, we shall never get up the 
thorns and stumps of sin from our hearts." 

The young preachers and schoolmasters were usually 
about us two or three together, and they always returned 
with brighter eyes, stronger nerves, and higher aspira- 
tions to their work in the hills. This I regarded as one 
of the greatest blessings that attended on the place — 
the sparkles of truth and blendings of love would be 
borne back to the pinnacles of the mountains, and have 
more or less effect upon hearts, as the teachers were 
led to personal watchfulness. 

I might have talked to these wild men and women 


till doomsday, and they would never have made the 
sacrifices they have made, but for the deep practical 
truths of the Bible. They loved dearly to have " Cru- 
den's Concordance" talk to them, and would often ask 
me to take the Holy Figure Book, as they called it, 
which I always kept on the desk with the Bible. 

Subsequently, after a year's teaching, I would ask the 
chiefs to name a subject for investigation, which they 
could readily do, — perhaps faith, perhaps love, mercy, 
or works, visiting the widow and the fatherless, using 
just weights ; indeed, almost every kind of practical 
subject was taken up in our Bible readings. It was 
not merely Old Testament stories that we studied, or the 
miracles or revelations, but Corinthians, Romans, Gala- 
tians, Philippians, James, and John. The history of 
God's dealings with the Israelites was always made pro- 
minent, because this seemed to me eminently adapted to 
lead them to fear God and to trust Him, having always 
strengthened my own faith. Our favourite parts of the 
Bible were Exodus, Luke, John, Romans, and Corin- 

The above are specimens of our manner of studying 
the word of God every week-day night, men, women, 
and children, for the last three years, until it seemed as 
if those who dwelt about the school-grounds grew so 
fast, we could almost see them grow in a " knowledge of 
the truth." This was the greatest consolation to us all 
when we saw them dropping away by cholera. Twenty- 
five of my Bible class, who had so delighted in studying 
about the " Light of the World," ascended up in two 


months' time to bask in that light for ever, and not one 
murmur, not a single expression of fear, as far as I could 
learn, escaped the lips of either. 

"Are you afraid?" I asked them repeatedly, as I 
stood beside them and held the hands of those dying 

" No, mama. We know Christ will take us." 
What but the Inspired Oracles could have given such 
men such faith to die by? such a light through the 
shadows, such a life-belt for those deep waters ? 

It was one evening after we had been dwelling on the 
first and great commandment, that the wild Bghai met 
me on the steps with the striking remark mentioned at 
the opening of this chapter : — 

" Teacher, I wonder if I can love the Lord with all 
my strength?" 

He wished me to supply his men with rice, and ten 
men would remain a week and work on the Girls' Place, 
they buying their own curry. I Avas obliged to refuse. 

Just then a little boy standing behind pulled his 
tunic, and whispered something low. 

" I'll go and talk with my men," he said, hastily. 

Half an hour passes. Back comes the chieftain, his 
little son beside him. 

" We've talked it over," he said, " and Poquer says 
he and the boys will make some baskets and sell for 

A week or ten days go by, and looking up the road, a 
troop of Karens appeared, coming down in Indian file 
with eight or ten boys, each one's head piled with bas- 


kets towering up like little mountains, eight or ten on 
each head. Without stopping, they forded the river, 
waist deep, went to the bazaar, sold their baskets, bought 
their own rice and curry, and came and worked a week 
in clearing off the land. This is a single example of the 
practical manner in which these willing hearers applied 
the Scriptures to their daily lives. 




A colonel's wife, soon after she reached Tounghoo, was 
walking one evening with her husband, when they met a 
troop of Karens with their loaded baskets upon their 
backs and bamboo spears in hand. 

On coming up the Karens never moved an inch out 
of the way ; but the leader, confronting the lady, reached 
out his hand, unwashed as he had come down the moun- 
tains. Knowing the English were their deliverers, he 
could not help giving his hand to any white foreigner he 
met. Mrs. H. was at first frightened at his wildness ; 
but the smile and earnest manner, pointing to his native 
hills, soon convinced her of his friendliness, and she was 
a lady of too much good sense to refuse : she shook hands 
with the whole troop, and they went on their way 
rejoicing, leaving the colonel dreadfully shocked at his 
wife's soiled gloves. 

The colonel, on relating to me the incident, said, " I 
wish the Karens would learn what water is made for." 
I trust they are learning, but all the offensive habits 


of wild savage tribes are not to be altered in one 

It was the custom for every disciple to give the hand, 
but for four years they gave it just covered with earth 
or lime, any way. For a whole year after commencing 
the girl's school, I did not dare to speak of it ; but when 
they came to know me so well as their friend, I ventured 
to suggest, very gently, that if they would lay off their 
loads and wash in the river before shaking hands, I 
should like it better. A few walked away, but gene- 
rally after this they rushed for the river before giving 
the hand. 

So with the pig-pens. Speaking of these, I wrote at 
that time : — 

" One of the Board examines all round the place on 
Saturdays, and brings me a report. It encourages me 
not a little to see the pig-pens vanish. Last year the 
two men who first settled here put up pens right under 
their doors, according to their custom. I mentioned to 
the Nah Khan how offensive it was, and that hereafter 
we could not have them. 

" ' Oh, mama,' he exclaimed, ' if you do so, not a 
Karen will live here.' " 

So I let it pass, and the pens remained just six 
months. When they were building new houses, or pre- 
paring for it, I mentioned the matter in the chapel. 
The next evening not one was to be seen under the 

The following is a letter from one of the Paku chiefs 
at this time concerning behaviour at the settlement :— 


" I, Khan Poquai, one of the Institute Managers, to 
the Churches, greeting : 

"Dear Brethren, 

" Chief Tekalai came to the Girls' Place and 
stopped two weeks, and went up to worship but two or 
three times, and two others with him. These three 
cannot remain on the place. They have brought no 
letters of introduction, and they go not up to worship. 

" My dear brethren, the Teacheress tells us, and very 
wisely, if any come here to live, they must come with 
their families and goods, and remain permanently. If 
they do not this, they had better not come. 

" Now, the Teacheress wishes for the good of all the 
people ; therefore think, I entreat you, of what God says 
in Matthew, ' If ye take not up the cross and follow me, 
ye cannot be my disciples.' Now, let us remember this 
all of us. We who believe, strive to follow Jesus Christ ; 
every one of us then must bear the cross. 

" What is Jesus Christ's cross ? It is obedience to all 
His commands. Let us remember, brethren, to do just 
as He has told us to do. 

" Khan Poquai." 

The following are specimens of the recommendations 
brought by all the settlers : — 

" Blessing and mercy rest upon the teacher for ever ! 
" Dear Teacheress, 

" I would say a word about our brother Thaboo, 
who desires to go and live near the Great Schools. 
Please receive him if he arrives, and instruct him in the 


truth. He wishes no help, will buy his own house with 
his own money, and take care of himself, and help build 
up the kingdom of God. 

" Teacher of the Church of Wathako." 

" My very dear Teacheress, 

" Now, my brother Hauchu desires to go and live 
on the Girls' Place, and desires an introduction. He is 
not a bad man, a liar, or wanderer, or idler, but an 
honest person. Therefore, please receive him. 

" Letter of the Church at Wathako." 

" My dear Teacheress, 

" I will tell you a word about our brother Tatha. 
Receive him, I pray you, for he is not one that loiters 
about doing nothing, but is a steady man, and worships, 
although not yet baptized." 

"Writing at that time, I remarked, 

" The smiles of heaven attend us constantly, and 
sometimes I feel as if I could do nothing but thank God. 
If I could take the place of the poor woman who washed 
her Saviour's feet with tears, and wiped them with the 
hairs of her head, it seems to me it would be all I could 
ask. I do think the work here is one living miracle. 
I thought, possibly, after four or five years of toil, we 
might see Tounghoo teachers able to lead on and work 
efficiently ; and lo, what I was looking away for down 
the future, we see before us." 

The following is from Moung Po, a Shan magistrate : — 


" My dear Teacheress, 

" I will now tell you a few words about myself. 
Formerly, I was in great ignorance, and knew not right 
from wrong ; but when I heard the Lord God's com- 
mandments from teacher Quala, I believed with all my 
heart. For two years I have been Nah Khan (private 
agent) to the Commissioner ; but whether I am at home 
or travelling, I do not forget God. 

" I have been out with the Commissioner now three 
months. He has paid me ninety rupees, and I put my 
heart in this way. Two months of it I will give to my 
wife and children to buy food and clothing ; the remain- 
ing one month, thirty rupees, I will give to the Girls' 
School to help on the place." 

" Can you give so much ? " I asked on his coming 
down, when he replied solemnly, 

" Yes, I can. One-third is not too much for Christ." 

" Teacher," he continued in his letter, " you tell me 
to learn Shan again, which I have nearly forgotten. I 
will do so, and although I follow the Commissioner, I will 
do all I can to help. I do not seek the riches or honours 
of this world. Do not think my heart is fastened to the 
things of this life. 

"As my brethren pledge themselves to support the 
Girls' School, so will I do according to the Scriptures ; 
and this I do with great glad heart, for the mercy and 
favour of God to me have been very great. 

" May heaven bless and prosper the Teacheress." 

The Shans came down into Tounghoo in great num- 


bers. The women were pretty and interesting. I hired 
a Bassein Karen preacher to go among them for six 
months, and paid him from funds raised there by officers. 
He met with a good deal of favour. 

I then applied to Government for an island lying in 
the Sittang river, to be set apart to a Shan Mission, 
and received permission to take a building site for a 
chapel and residence anywhere on the island. On reach- 
ing America, I pleaded for a Bible-reader to go to these 
Shan women to teach them from the word of God. I 
found more difficulty than I had expected in securing 
this. At length it pleased the Lord to remove every 
hindrance out of the way, and the Shan women have 
now one Bible-reader of their own in Tounghoo. 

Generally the Shans are not willing to be instructed 
by a Karen. They look up to the Burmese, but down 
on the Karens. I once found a Burman ready to be 
taught by a Karen, and a Burman priest, too. We were 
in Monmogon, on the sea-shore of Tavoy, when a priest 
from Ava came in inquiring for the white Teacheress. 

On my entering, he immediately took his seat upon 
the dining-table, in order to keep his head above that of 
a woman. Not quite approving that etiquette, I ordered 
a nice mat and pillow, which I always kept ready, such 
as they used at home. Finally, seeing me take a very 
low stool, and as I was very short, so that his head 
would still be uppermost, he sat down, though with a 
most supercilious air. 

I handed him the Burman Bible. He desired to have 
me lay it upon the mat, as he could not receive any- 


thing from the hand of a woman, because her touch was 
defiling to his godship. For the purpose of benefiting 
his soul, if possible, I submitted, when he read for some 
two hours, turning from the Gospels to Corinthians, and 
everywhere, as if no stranger to the book. 

" I cannot understand," he said, " this new birth. 
How should I ? Nobody ever explained it to me." He 
then allowed my Karen interpreter to explain and exhort, 
and seemed really to be groping after light. But then 
this interpreter was a remarkable man, a preacher of 
God's own making. 

In September, 1852, from our sea-bungalow on the 
Indian ocean, I had written home thus : — " Burmah 
requires two or three hundred colporteurs — men and 
women — to go with the Bible in their hands and its 
spirit in their hearts, and thread these streets and 
mountain-passes, these rivers and nullahs, reading and 
explaining its sacred truths, and I have no doubt but 
this would be not only the speediest, but also the 
cheapest, way of converting the nations." Two months 
afterwards I went on a fortnight's trip up the Tenas- 
serim river, in search of pupils, who would promise to 
become Bible-readers, both men and women. 

" Mong Nong ! " called out my head boatman one 
day, looking off toward the hills. Not a soul was to be 
seen, and I asked if he was calling the nats. 

"No, mama; there is a strange man up here. He ought 
to preach. He has a big tongue — a very big tongue !" 

Soon the wife of the great-tongued man appeared, her 


arms full Df sugar-cane and bamboo rice-sticks. The 
natives have a way of preparing rice for their journeys, 
by roasting it in the small joints of a particular kind of 
bamboo, which gives a peculiar flavour to the rice. A 
dozen of these can be stuffed into their wallet, and eaten 
with chillie or red pepper, or with bananas ; and it is 
better than any pound cake, even to my own taste. 

He and his wife were attending a great nat feast. 
Among the Karens the office of priestess is recognised 
as hereditary, and is held in profound esteem. They 
have a custom, too, which requires every member of a 
family to be present at their high festivals. These are 
family sacrifices, and are conducted with great solemnity. 
If a single member of the family is absent, or leaves the 
circle during the celebration of the rite, the charm is 
broken. Mong Nong and his wife had gone a great dis- 
tance to attend, but in the midst of it the priestess 
seemed struck with horror. She threw down the sacri- 
ficial • knife, rushed around the room, down the ladder, 
and into the jungle. All looked on in silent amazement, 
and Mong Nong, while returning home, began to ask his 
wife what such a religion could be good for which a 
single individual could thus destroy. To the Divine 
Oracles he now resorted daily for several weeks, until 
fully convinced of the truth. He then led his wife to 
seek it. Both were converted, both passed through much 
persecution, and were the means of converting nearly all 
their families. 

His bold, fearless manner, his fine, tall figure, and 
dignified bearing, made him seem almost like a second 


Peter.* It was this man who seemed to have a magic 
power over the Ava priest, and I trust Mong Nong will 
yet bring him to the heavenly world for a gem in his 
Master's crown. 

In the evening Mong Nong was with us at the Bible 
class. We took up the parable of the talents. His 
spirit was moved to its depths. I said not a word to 
him about coming with me, but he began to confess. He 
said he had buried his talent ; he knew he had sinned, 
and asked if lie mi _rl it accompany me to town as a Bible- 
reader and preacher ! He went, and for three montlis, 
as long as I could find support for him, that man was 
day and night proclaiming the G< >-j«cl among the Bur- 
mese of Monmogon. 

* The man was so much respected, that even the priests W( >uld 
come out of their monasteries and extend their hand* as he passed, 
because they saw he had power with G 




"Hurrah! Hurrah for Commissioner D'Oyly!" is 
suddenly shouted from pinnacle to pinnacle, from glen 
to glen, from river to river, and all over the Karen plains 
of Tounghoo. 

"Why is this?" 

Because, by one stroke of the pen, Captain D'Oyly 
has scattered food, raiment, and love among thirty thou- 
sand Highlanders; even two hundred thousand. A 
few details will show how this was done. 

The Karens had to bring down their loads of baskets, 
mats, and pigs, and carry them across the river to the 
market, in order to purchase food for themselves while 
working on the school-grounds. At these times, the 
ferrymen, taking advantage of their necessities, often ex- 
torted presents or double fees. The authorized fees were 
two annas for a load, or what a man could carry on his 
back ; four annas for going and coming, if he remained 
over night : no matter if the load was only one mat, 
which he would have to sell for four annas, he must 
pay the ferryman his two annas. Or suppose he had 



eight baskets, the usual load, which would bring two 
annas each ; these, in all probability, he would have to 
spend all the afternoon in selling, then it would be too 
late to buy salt and fish until the next morning, so he 
must pay two annas for crossing each day. two baskets 
out of his eight, or twenty-five per cent, on his barter, 
just to cross the river. To this the people submitted all 
the first year as of old without complaining ; but as 
they were supporting themselves, and working for the 
public good, it seemed to me a very hard tiling that 
those on the place could not take them aa 

Finally, I represented the case to the Deputy Com- 
ioner, asking permission t<> let them cross free in 
the school-boat ; but the regulations then existing were 
such that it was thought this would be injustice t" the 
ferryman. However, next April, at the time the ferries 
were sold at auction, the Commissioner sent me the 
following note : — 

My dear Mrs. Mason, 

" I send you a copy of the Perry Regulations. There is 
a final clause which will satisfy the Karens, by which you 
are permitted t<> lend your boat Scot-/'/-" t<> travellers. 

''George D'Oyly, 
" Deputy Commissioner, Tounghoo." 

The final clause was : 

" Parties are not debarred from using boats that may 
be lent to them for the purpose of crossing, but no such 
boats are to ply for hire." 


The ferryman went up to court about it two or three 
times, and even now goes up with a troop every time a 
new ruler arrives ; but it was just to him, as he pur- 
chased the ferry with the clause before him. He may 
not have received quite so much, but the cause of edu- 
cation in Tounghoo was forwarded thereby by thousands 
of rupees. 

Upon this happy change, the Karens immediately 
brought me in one hundred rupees to help pay the 
school-boatman, and from that time all were free to cross 
in the school-boats — an invaluable boon ; and as the 
news spread up the mountains, the very hills clapped 
their hands for joy. 

Even blessings, however, have their temptations. Not 
very long after this favour was granted, one of the school 
girls intimated to me that all was not right, but would 
on no account tell me what was wrong. I called the 
Nah Khan, and asked him to tell me truly, Was he or 
the boatman taking hire for ferrying across the moun- 
tain Karens ? He acknowledged the boatman had taken 
trifling things as presents for taking them across, as mats, 
betel-nuts, baskets, &c, and with his permission, be- 
cause they came in such croicds. I told him 1 had 
obtained the favour for them ; the privilege must not be 

Then came a heavy trial. If I screened them, every 
one would say the great man can sin, and so can we. If 
I exposed the wrong, disgrace must follow to us all, and 
probably the Nah Khan would become an enemy to the 
Girls' School. I was in deep distress, and knew not 

p 2 

212 young men's school. 

which way to turn, for his power over the people was 
very great. It produced for a short time a conflict such 
as no one can realize, unless they can understand what 
it is to see the object of their heart's desire in imminent 
peril. But one morning I called the Nah Khan and 
the boat-master, and told them I must inform against 
them. They had transgressed against a Government 
regulation, and the Commissioner most be their judge. 
I did inform, and they were fined twenty rupees. They 
paid it, and begged me to forgive them. I told them 
\ I could forgive; and as I knew they were not yet 
folly acquainted with God's law, I should pay them back 
the fine mysel£ 

"We dun't want it, mama; only forgive us," they 

I insisted on their taking it; and truly had they been 
flogged or thrown into jail. 1 do not believe it could 
have been half so great a punishment to them as it was 
for me to pay that fine. I never after heard of any 
delinquencies, and I believe the Nah Khan went off and 
put his into the mission box, 

Having obtained this 1 n for the Karen-;. I proposed 

to them to establish a Young .Men'.- School on the same 
land and on the same plan as the Girls' Institute. 
After much dis< ossion and some fearfulness, they 
concluded to undertake the support of fifty young 
men for schoolmasters, the same number as they bad 
insured of girls. 

Amidst their shoutings for the Commissioner, they 
set about this, and soon erected a building a hundred 


feet in length. They built it entirely themselves, and 
added out-offices, and a house for the teacher, with a 
wooden frame. 

Dormitories for the girls were also rebuilt, and a large 
airy school-hall, of course, all of bamboo. 

There was, and must be, the most pressing call for the 
continuation of a Young Men's Normal School in Toun- 
ghoo. Imagine, reader, that you are looking to the east. 
You see a range of mountains rising in peaks like the 
Alps, one above the other, and extending through the 
whole province two hundred miles. 

Now, please think of those numerous pinnacles, all 
capped with Karen hamlets, and the more distant, for 
ever making war upon the Christian settlements. On 
this account the schoolmasters can leave their schools 
only a few weeks at a time. They come down to study, 
are perhaps in the middle of Corinthians or Hebrews, 
and deeply interested. Down comes the chief : 

" Teacher, I must have my schoolmaster. The 
people are beginning to use arrack again, or the enemy 
is coming. Our teacher must go back immediately." 

At such times Mr. Mason always says to the 
teachers, — 

" Go to God. Ask Him. What He tells you, that 
do." The result is, they immediately return for a week 
or two, quiet affairs, re-assure the chiefs, and preach to 
them all they have learned, and the truth, being fresh 
in their own minds, takes a deeper hold on the people. 
Then they say, — 

" Now, chiefs, we have told you all we know, all that 


the teacher has told as. Now we must go and get 
some more." 

By this time the villagers are full of the subject, 
whatever it is, and they gladly part with the teachers 
again, and contribute for their support. Tounghoo must 
have Missionaries avIio can say, — " Come, brothers," not 
" Go." They want leaders who can come down and 
rise up at the same time. Sometimes the young 
teachers are liable to eet high notions, and make the 
children carry about a stool for them to sit on above 
the people, as the wife of one did. They turned her 
out with her husband, and two others with them, men 
who had been uncommonly well educated, simply be- 
cause of their city airs, and unwillingness to work with 
their own hands. They are independent Churches like 
the Congregational and Baptist Churches of America, 
and as they Bupport their own preachers. Mr. Mason 
leaves them free to choose for themselves. 

The Tounghoo people will eventually become the chief 
supporters of the Central College and Theological School 
in Rangoon ; but it is hoped they will themselves 
sustain the students they send, and thereby retain the 
fraternal relationship so desirable between the chiefs and 
their preachers. 

"Tounghoo," Mr. Mason says, "should have the aid 
of all those who desire the extension of God's kingdom, 
because, while other missions are surrounded by culti- 
vated fields, and contain a definite number of persons 
for whom to labour, this one has no boundary on the 
north and east but the Great Desert and the Yellow 


Sea, which comprise untold races among whom the 
banner of the Gospel is constantly waved forward. 

Besides this region, there are others calling for our 
labours. The Government Surveyor in Arracan thinks 
we should reach the hill tribes there sooner than 
Burmese would, and offers to support two schoolmasters 
himself among the Kemmees. 

The young schoolmasters of Tounghoo make great 
sacrifices in order to study. Usually they alternate, — 
the teacher on one pinnacle taking charge of one or two 
adjacent villages during the absence of their preachers, 
and they are indefatigable in their studies. Never once 
in that land have I had occasion to urge on either the 
young men or the young women, for they all seem per- 
fectly inspired with a love of books, and really to thirst 
for knowledge. 

There was an interesting incident connected with 
these bamboo school buildings. The chief proposed to 
cover one large house himself alone, and ordered off two 
of his men. In about a week we were looking out one 
day, when we saw something which 'looked like great 
bundles of grass winding slowly along the school ground. 
It proved to be a troop of women entirely enveloped in 
bundles of thatch. Throwing it upon the grass, they all 
rushed for the river, washed, dressed their hair, and came 
up to give the hand of friendship. Then they set to 
work to braid the thatch, and in a few days nearly a 
thousand leaves were prepared, which in the rains could 
not be bought of the thatch traders for less than thirty 
rupees. They had travelled, cut the thatch for them- 


selves, and had brought it upon their heads for not less 
than Jive miles. 

Mr. Mason taught the young men the Bible, mathe- 
matics, and preaching. He says, in a note dated 
October 23rd, 1858 : " We went through Matthew, 
with part of Luke, the Acts, Romans, Hebrews, and 
First Book of Corinthians. Many learned the first 
principles of arithmetic, a few land-measuring, and 1 
was surprised to find, at the close of the school, that 
some who had learned from Mrs. Mason's coloured 
maps had as good a knowledge of geography as they 
would have gathered from books in the same time, and 
could point to the principal countries, seas, cities* 
mountains, and rivers, as accurately as I could." 

Very little praise did those invincibles deserve for all 
the mountains, seas, and rivers in their memories. 

" Go and say over those names ! That 's a girV» 
study, isn't it ?" they would remark. 

" Yes, to be sure it is. Of course, men don't need to 
know the way from Kannee to Jerusalem. To-inorrow 
you needn't come, brothers. Girls, recollect we have 
closed doors." 

Thursday comes. I put up the diagrams and say, 
" Now we '11 learn how the ' tortoise swallows the moon,' " 
and before the doors are open, the girls' eyes are all 
dancing with delight over their blackboard eclipses. 

Next day, closed doors again. One girl is attempting 
to explain her tortoise, which makes some sport, when 
all of a sudden a burst of laughter from behind the 
mat doors and windows. We all feigned terrible indig- 


nation, but the morning after an embassy appears, with 
this entreaty : 

" Won't the Teacheress let the young men come too ?" 

There was no need of further virgin"; them on to 
geography, and I never saw school children more de- 
lighted than they all were to learn how it was their feet 
did not fly off from "that star earth" whirling in the 

We made our own tides too, as the tidal waves do not 
reach Tounghoo, with gourd worlds and orange zones. 

The chiefs brought in money for the young men's 
board, an hospital was erected, a cook hired for them> 
and native teachers were appointed by the Board of 
Managers; but the, teachers and schools were both in 
great want of slates and stationery. I had been seeking 
for them, and felt very sad when they came to me for 
such little things as a sheet of paper or a pen, and 
I could not supply them. 

One day I called the pupils of both schools to pray 
for paper, pens, and slates for the teachers, that God's 
kingdom might be increased. 

The mail comes in — a letter — Mr. Mason hands it to 
me — and I read — 

" I have just forwarded two boxes of slates, -contain- 
ing twelve dozen, with paper, pens, threads, needles, 
knives, scissors, &c, for your two schools. — M. Wylie." 

Again, we were in great want of means to carry on 
operations. I called the girls to pray, and asked the 


chiefs on the place to pray that God would send money 
for the sawyers, so that we might build up the house for 
His glory. 

In the morning — letters — a draft for two hundred 
rupees ! 

The following acknowledgment was returned to Mrs. 
Wylie, of Calcutta : — 

" My vert dear Friend, 

" Thanks be to the Most High Name, that you and 
your dear husband are still permitted to stand between 
India and Burmah. I cannot say I thank Mr. Wylie — 
it speaks too little; but I will pray Heaven to reward 
you all with that peace which our Heavenly Watcher 
alone can give. If you are in correspondence with 
Major Edwards, or any of the kind friends who have 
raised this money, do please tell them how timely their 
help was, and the Great Treasurer will not forget their 

The next thing in which we set about instructing 
these wild men was making gardens. In this they 
manifested a good deal of zeal and enthusiasm, and 
planted some two hundred palms, three or four hundred 
betel-nut trees, three hundred plantains, with many 
guavas, mangoes, and oranges. 

They also planted a great many betel-leaf creepers, 
which are very highly valued. These, I believe, were 
all stolen, with about a hundred of the plantains. 

The palms all died but two, with many of the man- 


goes. I had been with them three miles down the river 
for many of these, standing all day in the rain, return- 
ing in the crowded boat at night, and to see our avenue 
trees die, did indeed cause us grief; but they will, I 
trust, in the end, succeed in making profitable gardens, 
and in raising fruit and vegetables enough for the schools. 

There was every reason to believe the fruit-trees were 
killed by the heathen, for there was no end to the 
trouble they gave us, turning in buffaloes, breaking 
down fences, cutting off plantains, destroying roads, &c, 
and in many ways harassing the Karens, and if they 
attempted to defend their property, they were attacked, 
and even beaten, by the mongrel Hindu herdmen. At 
last the Saxon blood bubbled over again. My boys 
could not stand it, to see the Karens browbeaten and 
made dogs by heathen ; they rose, called out all the 
boys of the district school, formed a body-guard, and 
armed them with bamboo swords, staves, whips, and 
lassos, and then woe to the buffaloes. The moment one 
showed his head on the place, the guard gave the alarm, 
when there followed a general chase on the part of the 
police, and a general stampede on the part of the buf- 
faloes and their keepers. 

It was no use now either reviling or pleading. The 
police generally returned leading up three or four heads 
of buffaloes, for each of which a fine was demanded of 
sixpence, and then, to teach them the law of kindness, 
they often let them off free. This course caused the 
little fellows days of hard running and weary watching, 
but it finally tamed the savages, so that they would even 


come to them for protection from others, and in the end 
they became ashamed of their own meanness. These 
herdmen were from the Madras coast, and were calf 
worshippers. One morning we found a great calf with 
glass eyes set up in our chapel. They thought it a 
public place, like a Burman zayat. 

We had now seven short streets in our new settlement 
around the schools, with elevated roads, usually twenty- 
one feet broad, all made and drained, but we could pro- 
cure neither stone nor bricks for them. Stones there 
were none within several miles, and if the settlers at- 
tempted to take the most broken bricks from either the 
old wall or ruined pagodas, they were driven away with 
a vengeance. This brought forth a petition, based on 
the fact that almost all our roads were public, and made 
for the good of the Burmese as well as for the Karens. 

The matter was long delayed, owing to the military 
authorities possessing the wall. Finally, thus much was 
secured to us : 

" Memorandum : 

" I have given orders that brick from the town wall, 
from spots not very near to any of the principal gate- 
ways, may be taken by Mrs. Mason for the construction 
of a road on the opposite or east bank of this river. 

" George D'Oyly. 

" Tounghoo, August 15th, 1858. 

The old dilapidated parts of the wall were being used 
for roads, and had long been a general resource for all 
other public purposes. 





While in Rangoon, before my return to Tounghoo, in 
March, 1857, the thought occurred to me to ask Govern- 
ment for timber for the buildings, when Colonel Phayre 
immediately gave it his sanction. 

As soon as we had organized the Karen Education 
Society, having made an estimate, I sent in a petition 
to the Superintendent of Forests for two hundred and 
twenty-five logs, large and small. This was objected to 
as being an unnecessarily large amount, when I had to 
write and explain that it was for no ordinary school- 
house, but an institution with dormitories, &c. But in 
order to get the work begun, I changed my petition, 
asking for an immediate grant of fifty large logs, and 
added the petition in the form prescribed. This was 
allowed, with the promise that I should have more when 

On receiving the grant, the chiefs met to see what 
should be done about getting it in — a real Herculean task 
to their inexperienced hands. However, they chose 
two of their principal chiefs — one for the Bghais and 


Mopagas, and one for the Pakus and Mauniepagas, to 
look out the trees, and see that every village bore its 
proper share of labour, and if any one failed, the village 
was to be assessed as the two heads Bhould decide, 

They went out by dozens and by twenties, working a 
month at a time, supplying their own elephants and 
mostly their own proi isions. 

Finally, November arrived, the water began to fall, 
and only four or five logs of timber had reached the 

m1 1-ground. If the river became very low, it would 

be impossible to float the logs, and we Bhould be delayed 
a whole year longer, before anything could be done 
towards the building. 

"Mama! mama!" exclaims Maukie, puffing with 
all his might. 

" What is the matter ? " 

"Thai Goung"— the Tree Chief— "has taken all 
our logs ! " 

■ Why so?" 

" He >ays weVe cut sixty, ten more than yon told us." 

" Call up the head men." 

"Yes, we have, but they did'nt understand." 

"No! Jauque don't know. We've done no such 
thing." So here was a dispute that ended in the Karens 
declaring I must go up and see for myself, or they would 
abandon the work. 

The Burmese were annoyed that the Karens should 
be allowed teak like themselves for Bchool buildil 
the Goung had circulated the report that the Karens 
were paying no regard to order.-, but had felled ten trees 


more than the grant allowed. On this plea the Burman 
Forest Superintendent seized upon the whole lot, and 
confiscated all for Government ; precisely as the Burmese 
are in the habit of doing in their own territory with 
timber merchants and others. A Karen merchant, a 
friend of mine, thinking he could make money faster, 
went up into Burinah, had an audience with the King 
himself, (so he declared,) and contracted for a large teak 
forest, or the privilege of working it for five years. The 
King gave him a golden umbrella and the title of Chief 
Forest Goung, supplied him with elephants, and greatly 
honoured him. Of course, the ruse took, foresters flocked 
to the golden Tee, and great numbers joined in the 
enterprise. The Chief Forester borrowed money largely 
to support his men, and at last the timber was all down 
to the water's edge, several thousand logs of beautiful 

" Ho, stop there ! " halloos a red-sashed peon, riding 
up in great haste, armed and frowning. 

" What is it ? " 

" The King forbids the removal of his timber." 

Of course, all work comes at once to a dead stop. 
Dismay is pictured on every face. 

Off rides the golden Umbrella, several days' journey 
up to court. The King doesn't know him ; no audience. 
The Sandozain sends him with his petition to the Sande- 
gan. The Sandegan thinks there must be a mistake. 
It is the Nah Khangyee he wants. This functionary 
can take no note of the matter. It does not belong 
to him. He had better go to the Minister of the In- 


terior. All this time work is at a stand-still, and debts 

Bribes, bribes are wanting. He must bribe, and that 
largely too, from the Woongyee down to the lowest peon. 
The Karen found these largesses would amount to more 
than half the value of the timber, the costs of working, 
felling, and transportation to the other half, and he was 
penniless. The timber was still on the shore, and the 
poor fellow in a Burman jail, when I left the country. 

This is simply a specimen of the Burmese system of 
extortion. So our Kannee Timber Goung no doubt 
intended to build himself a snug little house out of the 
Karens' teak. Convictions to this effect are expressed 
to the Deputy Commissioner — that it is all a Burman 
trick. He does not believe it, but writes : 

" My dear Mrs. Mason, 

" Bring in the logs at once by all means. I will send 
an order to the Goung of the district that he is to let 
them go when your men come for them. You know 
that fining you (I had begged him to fine me,, if they 
had done wrong, and not punish them) would be fining 
myself and all others interested in your labours. The 
Superintendent of Forests must be the judge. In the 
meantime, use the fifty logs." 

Now the matter had to be investigated. Burmese 
Reporters would all go with the Goung. Karen chiefs 
were too careless, and too easily browbeaten by their 
enemies. None had strength and zeal combined enough 
for the work. Therefore, in order to save the character 


of the Karen Christians from destruction, I undertook, 
with my husband's consent, to go over the forest, and 
count every log myself. 

The following is my journal forwarded to him : — 

" I betook myself to the boat, and had just started 
when the clouds began to thicken, and it soon Came 
pouring down, and rained incessantly for twenty-four 
hours. At night we found lodgings in the verandah of 
a senii-Burman house, for the woman refused to sixe us 
any other quarters. Everything was wet through, over- 
dress and all, except my pillows. We spread them out, 
took a supper of cold fowl and bread, talked a long 
time with the family concerning the Christian religion, 
sung a hymn, had prayers, and sat down to write, but 
fell asleep at the fifth word. I had been asleep perhaps 
half an hour, when, ' Bow wow ! wow ! ' sounded close 
to my ears. I aroused up, and found I had companions 
in two jackall-looking dogs, which had crept up there to 
escape the rain, as I had myself. 

" The second morning the rain was still pouring. The 
river, the boatmen said, was so swollen, it would be 
impossible to stem the current. We could reach the 
timber-camp by noon on foot, but we had not proceeded 
twenty steps before I was just as wet as a drowned 
chicken, and speedily returned to the boat. 

" They were heathen boatmen, and thought, as I was 
a woman, my standing in the rain was of no conse- 
quence. The river was a real mad river ; deep, and 
scooped out as if it had dug graves for every careless 



passer-by. But the bottom was covered with white 
pebbles, and the water so clear, we could see every little 
fish on the bottom, just what he was about. 

" There are no lofty mountains flanking the stream 
here, but the forest is very old, and its beautiful trees 
have their leaves of every possible form, and of every 
shade of green. 

" Then there came the rope-plants — the nymphs of 
the forest, so gracefully looping up the creepers all 
along the shore, studded with blue, yellow, and purple 

" The poor boatmen had to be half the time in the 
water when we reached the rocky bed of the stream, 
urging the boat from side to side, from snag to snag, 
waist deep, and often pulling us right under a clump of 
knife-edged fan-palms, or, still worse, under the long, 
ponderous cables of the rope-trees that grated over our 
heads, to the imminent risk of turning us all into the 

" As soon as we reached the camp, I started with 
one of our Karen Board of Managers on an elephant, 
crossed the river, and began to climb ; and climb we 
did indeed, for nearly an hour, — now down through a 
deep ravine, then up again, until we reached the summit 
of a mountain far distant. 

" ' Dear me ! not far enough yet V I asked. 
" ' No, mama.' So down we plunged again into a 
deep, deep gorge, and there, between two almost per- 
pendicular ridges, lay one of the monster logs that had 
been such a trouble to them. Around this three or four 


more, all too large to be ever pulled up the mountain, or 
through the gorge. The Karens have tried to hire the 
Burmese to saw them in two, but they demand four 
rupees each, so they are putting forth their own skill ; 
and they wanted me to see their management. 

" I don't much enjoy tramping over these jungles 
myself, or having the Karens do it, for I half expect 
a tiger-leap at every turn. Still we are going in ano- 
ther direction to-morrow, where I am told a few trees 
have been felled, a whole day's journey there and 
back. Good night. I 'm going to read Deut. xii. 7 ; 
will you please tell the boys to read Luke xiii. 19 ?" 

Mr. Mason writes in reply : 

" Teacher Kouk-kay has written a letter for the Karen 
Star, in which he says : ' Mama Mason makes exceeding 
strenuous efforts for Tounghoo. In order that the people 
may get wisdom, she is planning the erection of a large 
building for girls to study in. The teacheress has now 
gone into the jungles to exhort the people to bring down 
the timber quickly. Moreover, the Commissioner desires 
us to learn, and to this end He helps her.' So you see 
your labours are not unappreciated by the natives." 

This I repeat, reader, not because God favoured me, 
but the icork, and, therefore, it came like a little olive- 
leaf to my weary heart ; indeed, I could not help regard- 
ing it as an answer to prayer, for this young preacher 
was one who had opposed the Girls' School. Indeed, he 
had been the strongest opposer, lest they should fall 
under woman's government. 

Those Kannee Wide Awakes ! With a shout and a 

Q 2 


rush they mustered on the sand-beds in the Kannee 
creek, in the moonlight, and formed themselves into 
small companies of tens and twenties, chose their own 
leaders, and filed off in ranks right and left, ready for 

" Do you, officers, agree to command, each of you, the 
men under you?" 

" We do." 

" And do you, soldiers, agree to obey your captains V' 

" Er, er. We will obey." 

This questioning was the duty assigned to me, for 
mama must review the company. 

The scene was to them extremely exciting, and to me 
very cheering. 

For two months the Karens had been at work trying 
to get in the timber for the school-house, yet not half 
the roads had been cut, nor half the logs even found. 

They were so undisciplined. Each set of men would 
obey only its own chiefs, and if their own chiefs were 
absent, they would obey nobody. So the chiefs, being 
each independent, had no idea of yielding to one ano- 
ther ; consequently, the works progressed very slowly. 

As soon as I reached the jungles, I suggested this 
military kind of order, and from that time the work went 
on so rapidly, they were astonished at themselves, but 
they needed instruction in almost every department. 
Mechanics they had no idea of, and I found they inva- 
riably attempted to drag logs up high mountains the 
small end upwards, and it was not without a good deal 
of reasoning that I could induce them to change. 


As concerned roads, too, the idea of cutting a smooth 
path for a mile or two more for two or three logs seemed 
an intolerable burden, so they tugged against snags and 
crags. Sometimes I would find them on a high moun- 
tain, just in time to save elephant and rider from certain 
destruction, as in one instance when they barely escaped. 
They had reached a part of the road, lying immediately 
over a precipice of seventy feet or more, and the road 
just sloping enough to give the log a cant downwards, 
when nothing could have saved them. A mere boy was 
on the elephant's neck, who knew nothing more than 
to trudge on straight before his eyes. I advised the 
captains to appoint one of the cleverest men to attend 
each elephant, with two clearers to watch and repair 
the roads. 

The consequence was, they were able to drag as many 
logs in a day as they had been before in a week. 




The following conversational letters to the President 
of the Karen Education Society of Tounghoo give 
glimpses of life in Kannee at this time : — 

" Kannee Jungle. 
" My dear Mr. President, 

" I almost think you will break the tenth command- 
ment, and covet my rural pleasures. Yesterday I deter- 
mined to show the Karens that perseverance would con- 
quer all difficulties, so started with a guide, six or eight 
Karens, and three elephants, to find some fifteen logs 
which have been felled in the depths of the forest, several 
miles inland, and which, report said, ' would not move.' 

" After crossing streams three or four times, then a 
deep miry plot, where at every step the elephants sunk 
up to their bodies, we resorted to a wood road, and 
thankfully enough, for I was greatly frightened lest we 
should sink entirely. On the wood road we travelled 
some two hours, then turned into a deep, thorny jungle, 
and wandered on for two hours more, cutting our way at 
every step, till at last our guide cried out, — 


" ' Hai mat — lost ! ' and finally acknowledged that he 
had never been to the place. It was then twelve or one 
o'clock ; I sent a party forward to reconnoitre, while we 
tethered the elephants to browse. After two hours the 
party returned, with the report that they had found five 
logs, but not the slightest path, and so far in, we could 
not possibly cut our way to them and return that night. 
Seeing in their looks a strange dislike to proceeding, I 
thought it better to take Franklin's advice. 

" ' Stoop, stoop,' so told the men to do quickly just 
what they pleased. Of course, the elephants were turned 
back, and I sunk down in the houdah, thinking what 
could be the design of such a lesson of disappointment, 
and finally concluded that neither the Karens nor their 
teacher had yet wreathed their brows with Job's laurel, 
when suddenly down shot a ponderous creeper from its 
airy swing upon my head. As soon as I could collect 
my scattered senses, out stole two or three long thorny 
fingers and caught my hat, and, when I resisted, clung 
with all seeming malice at my fingers. 

" The Karens compassionated my head, but I begged 
them not to pity my head, but my heart — that I was so 
ashamed to go back with three elephants, and without a 
single log. To attempt to do a thing and not do it ! 
Upon this, every head drooped, and all were silent for 
some time. Finally, the chief said, 

" ' Let not mama be sad. Monday night there shall 
be a good straight road every step of the way through to 
the timber.' 

" ' Yes/ responds another. ' And we '11 come and 


sleep here till every log is in/ And they kept their 
word, dragging down triumphantly every log felled. 

" But I was going to tell you of our Sabbath in the 
wilderness, when we all ' went up into the mountain to 

11 Last Sabbath morning we assembled on the top of 
a hill, in a bamboo grove, over-arching so as to form a 
most lovely pavilion. There we spread our mats, and 
sung our Karen psalms, making the hills and glens echo 
to native airs. I took up the parable of the feast in the 
fourteenth of Luke, explaining to them how the Gospel 
was first preached to the Burmese, but they, having 
neglected it, had caused the Missionaries to turn to the 
Karens. Then directed their thoughts four years back, 
to the first time they ever heard the name of Jesus. 
Again to the subject of the evening before. ' Seek ye 
first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all 
these tilings shall be added unto you,' making them tell 
over themselves the various ways in which God had 
shown them that He knew their need, and had provided 
for it. I assure you there was not a dull eye or a vacant 
expression among the whole audience. Then attention 
was called to the remainder of the parable, showing that 
it was their duty now to go after the savage Bghais, and 
' compel them to come in.' 

" ' Aye, but the preachers must do -that,' they an- 
swered. ' The Lord commanded His servants, the little 

" Then they had to learn how the order was for all, 
and how they were doing it by building a house in which 


to educate teachers just as much as the teachers them- 
selves. I even impressed upon them that every log of 
teak or iron- wood post they secured was calling just 
so many of the halt and blind. They came down the 
hill greatly animated, the young men saying one to 
another, — 

" ' I didn't understand all that was said, but I shall 
try and call two of the blind ones to-morrow ' — that is, 
obtain two logs for the school-house. 

" ' And I shall try and get three.' And so on, and 
so on ; and the next day they did work, as if their very 
lives depended upon it. 

" I mention these little things that you may know 
your people, and the power that will move them ; while 
flogging would only crush and wither every upspringing 
of self-respect. Flog Christian soldiers ! I was so in- 
dignant to hear it suggested to you. If I could have 
my wish, that degrading punishment should be banished 
from military life, from sailor life, and from all civilized 

" A short time before, they had asked if we shouldn't 
give up, and not try to find the logs. 

" ' Englishmen never give up,' I answered, which 
created a smile, but nothing moved them to a firm reso- 
lution, until the appeal to their own self-respect. So 
you see what material you have for soldiers. Forcing 
might have pressed them on for a time, but would not 
have accomplished this work ; while a single appeal that 
touched their hearts brought every log. The Karens 
will never make soldiers good for anything, unless their 


leaders are men of moral power. Order and discipline 
belong to school-boy lands. Of course, we ought not to 
expect it here among men just redeemed from barbarism ; 
but when I look around upon one and another, whom I 
know to be as noble, self-sacrificing men as ever lived, 
fasting all day themselves and giving their food to 
others, of which they are capable, in order that a Chris- 
tian school might be established, — when I think of this, 
and then remember how these men looked and spoke the 
first time they came to visit us, I cannot express my 


" Thursday. 

" Oh, me ! if it would not tire the patience of Job, to 
sit here on the ground hour after hour, and watch a 
dozen men hack, hack, hack, on a single log, with a 
single axe, just big enough to cut off a squirrel's ear. 
They won't use a bigger one, although I have bought 
three for them. 

" But I was going to give you a chapter for your 
history of Tounghoo, and will begin with my beautiful 
glen. You should have been here this morning to see a 
Kannee sunrise ! so lovely, grand, and exhilarating ! 

" Just picture yourself on a bluff forty or fifty feet 
high, standing under a lofty canopy of arching branches 
interlocked, from which run down rafters, and beams, 
and pillars of long woody creepers. 

" Then there are such Swiss-looking windows, cur- 
tained with green leaves, here and there looped up on 
one side by a twisted gray cord-plant and tassel, while 


the other side is thrown open. Our front is an arched 
portico about fifteen feet high, of heavy cord-plant span- 
ning clear over the cliff. Now we see away down the 
bluff large overhanging acacias, tasseled with a thou- 
sand pendants, looking into the sweet little Wechaduc 
creek all buried in shadow. Then, turning to the left, 
we have a deep winding gorge, brimfull of sunshine, 
gushing along the sides of the rocks, now glancing over 
the waters, anon dancing around them as if held by the 
spell of their murmuring music, as they warble along 
round the base, while other beams shoot out, colouring 
whole showers of golden leaves, across the glen or the 
trembling foliage upon the opposite mountain. Now 
cast your eye along the lofty forest, striped with white- 
barked lagers trcemias, and you lose the stream for a 
moment, then catch it again winding lazily down, and 
going to sleep in a cove overhung with bowering fan- 

" In the fore-ground, right over a jutting point below 
the cliff, where the little creek falls into the Kannee 
river, stands my lodge in the wilderness. It is a booth 
ten feet square, covered with wild plantain leaves, and 
enclosed with nature's own palisade of reeds and grasses. 

" We want a moon, and then the night view would 
be picturesque enough ; for on the opposite shore stand 
four large, wild gipsy-looking huts full of mountaineers, 
boiling their chatties, roasting fish, lounging, and sing- 
ing over their camp-fires in all manner of classical 
attitudes ; while torch-lights are streaming up on to 
their brown faces and happy eyes, their striped kilts 

236 MY TENT. 

and red turbans ; and meanwhile the pebbly creek goes 
ripple, ripple, 

' Faint and low, faint and low, 
To and fro> to and fro ; ' 

till all thought of teak, hills, and tigers dies away in its 
mesmerizing lullaby." 


" You can't think what a nice, cozy nest I have, 
encamped on one side of a crooked little brook under a 
few plantain leaves. 

" My house is quite sumptuous, I think, for Kannee ! 
I divide it — that is, in imagination — into bed-room, 
bath and receiving-rooms, for you must know, I hold a 
levee here every morning. Then during the day it is 
Kannee Court-house. What would the Commissioner 
say to this ? Don't you think he would be looking 
after the Stars or the Eagle's beak ? 

"At evening my hall transmutes itself into a chapel, 
and so ends the day. The brook is murmuring its 
little psalm. The peacocks are screaming out like 
muezzins in the mountains, and all else is still. 

" This is just the most coaxing little brook I ever 
heard. It reminds me of one that used to go singing 
past my bed-room window away under the old birches of 
Vermont, when I was a wee thing, ten years old — the 
very brook in winch I was baptized. I have always 
loved that brooklet ; its sound goes with me like a thread 
of silver, soft and soothing through my life. 

"Do you know, boys, I have some other music here 


— a Kannee band of froo- serenaders ? One would think 
the creek full of bassettos, tenors, and altos, calling and 
answering from shore to shore. I should think the 
cicadas might join in for sopranos. Now, if you don't 
know these big words, look in the dictionary." 

" Little things again ! " Yes, friend reader, don't 
you like little things ? I do. Life is made joyous or 
painful by little things. Its little pauses are more to us 
than its great capitals. The delicate turn, the unseen 
glance, the sympathetic smile, a single strain from some 
old song, affects us more than the grandest orations and 

It was the most painful part of my work for the 
Karens that I was obliged to be so much away from my 
husband. But here again God cares for us ; for he was 
kept in better health than he had enjoyed for fifteen 
years ! 

" My dearest Husband, 

" When you can spare the boys, I wish you would let 
them shoulder their bags, and come over here with the 
Karens. They can march it, and reach here at night. 
Tell them to put up one suit each, with one loaf of 
bread each, and two pounds of roast beef, for the jour- 
ney, with two bundles of plantains, a little salt, and 
their umbrella. They would have a world of enjoyment, 
and never forget it. Tell them to keep between the 
Karens, not before or behind, lest the tigers eat 
them up. 


" I have some most valuable men here — self-sacri- 
ficing souls as ever lived, who will do anything to get 
the logs. Our work is going on beautifully now, and I 
hope will come to an end next week, Saturday, but that 
is uncertain. We can only drag three logs a-day, with 
the best possible will, they are so far away ; and you 
know we had^f/ty teak to get, and seventy-four iron- 
wood. Don't go away before I come back." 

The following letter reached me at Kannec from the 
Pant-Bghai country. 

"My dear Teaciieress who loves ub, 

" That which I wished for exceedingly you have sent 
me — books, pens, and paper — things which I love best. 
When I saw h them, I held them up in the presence of all, 
and the children rejoiced with me; the elders were also 
very glad, and their faith increased. 

" The people of this -village come every day to worship 
God, although they have no chapel ; but they are much 
afraid, and keep themselves armed, lest their enemies 
should try to kill them while at worship. Therefore, 
pray that love may increase among this people, who are 
still pagans. One of the villagers has been to the girls' 
place and seen the work, and heard of the plans for the 
Karens, and has come back and told us a great deal, 
until the hearts of all the villagers are very hot. When 
I heard about it, I raised my heart to God thus : — ' Oh 
God, stretch out thine arm, and help mama to complete 
her undertakings speedily, I beseech thee.' " 


San Quala at this time sent me his kind remem- 
brance : 

" My dear Friend Mama, 

" May the great love and peace of the Almighty God 
rest upon you and your pupils — girls and boys — for 
e^er ! 

" Teacheress, I know you do not forget us. Do you 
think I have forgotten you? I have not — not for a 
moment. I learn everything about your schools and 
doings. Your power of doing is very great. I cannot 
forget, I remember you always, and as God blesses your 
work, my heart is exceedingly happy. 

" You have increased our strength with bread, sugar, 
and cocoa-nuts, which we have received — a very great 
gift — besides the ten rupees to buy a goat for our babe. 
Do not feel anxious about us in the least. Everything 
I need the Christians supply with a free will. There is 
nothing in this world that I want, except that I may go 
and preach Christ, so that souls may be saved — this is 
on my heart continually. But my wife and child are 
sick all the time, and this shuts me up at home and 
makes my heart very sad. Because it is the judgment 
of heaven, I try to endure it. Pray for me, dear Teach- 

" Quala." 

This I received as a great answer to prayer. Mr. 
Mason had told me if Quala opposed the girls becoming 
schoolmistresses, he did not think it would be of any 

240 QUALA. 

use to try, as he would not be likely to change his 
mind when once determined. Thanks to the Almighty, 
who can turn all hearts, he did change from a state of 
indifference to feel a lively interest in the work, and 
subsequently did all in his power to help us on. I 
believe that God will yet influence many others to follow 
his example. 




" Qua au ! Qua au ! " Look out ! Look out ! cry 
the Karens one to another. " Tigers in this jungle." 

Scarcely are the words spoken, when : — 

" Ka ! Ka ! " Tiger ! tiger ! screams the forester at 
the head of our little party. 

I had wandered all the day before, and found only 
five suitable trees. Again we had started on foot 
through streams and thickets, morasses and thorns, and 
up at last on to a high ridge of table-land. I walked, 
as it saved them the trouble of cutting the way for an 
elephant, whose houdah is so high. We were ascend- 
ing, tired, and slowly, yet another last hill, dreaming of 
our solitary work, when all came to a dead stop with 
this dread scream. It was not a tiger, but a leopard, 
right in our path. The Karens set up a tremendous 
whoop, and the beast trotted off very deliberately. A 
day or two after I saw a small one, as I was upon the 
elephant. It was walking leisurely along the valley, a 
few rods distant from me, and looking up as if doubtful, 
whether to notice our intrusion. 



There was a beautiful teak log, larger than could be 
drawn away, seven and a-half feet in girth, on the side 
of a hill ; so one of the managers dug out a little saw- 
pit, and contrived by his own wit to get the log over it, 
and saw it through lengthwise; this was the first time he 
ever sawed a foot, and, of course, I had to go and encou- 
rage him. Another time I taught them the use of the 
wedge, by which they saved two other fine logs. 

Floating the timber was the next great task ; for the 
Karens had not one of them learned to swim, and never 
floated a log before in their lives. They often lost their 
turbans, and were nearly losing themselves too, but they 
would not have a Burman to help them. Their self- 
respect was aroused, and they were determined to show 
that they could perform great deeds as well as Burmese. 
An instance of this national pride occurred once near 
our door. The bank of the river caved in, burying a 
very valuable teak boat ; several Karens attempted to 
raise it, but failed, so I sent for a Burman. Poquai, 
the Paku member of the Board, hearing this, hastened 
over with a picked number of Karens, asking, — 

" Shall God's men call for heathen to help them in 
such a little thing ? " 

I paid the Burman, and dismissed him. In about 
two hours Poquai brought up the boat, when all looked 
at me with such laudable triumph and satisfaction, that 
I felt really proud of them. The very next night the 
boat for which we had paid forty rupees was missing, 
and we never heard of it again. Probably the Burman 
knew where it went to. This makes the fourth that has 


been taken from us, or been lost, since commencing these 

Our fifty teak logs, when spread out on the school 
land, were worth one thousand rupees, and the Burmans 
could not help regarding them with covetous eyes. So 
when the timber Goung came to make his report to 
Government, he seemed determined to make out that 
the Karens had exceeded the number granted to them. 
I measured every foot of the logs with him, and pointed 
out where one had been cut into two parts. Still he 
sent in his report, counting the sawed and split logs as 
two. This led to a report on behalf of the Karens. 

I wrote thus to Captain D'Oyly : — 

"UthJuty, 1858. 
" Sir, 

"I shall feel greatly obliged if you will do me the 
favour to express to Government my most sincere thanks 
for this gift to the Institute, and to all who have aided 
me in obtaining it. In answer to the kind inquiry 
how much more will be required, I would say, the 
timber already granted will not be nearly enough for 
the school-house alone, without dormitories. I would, 
therefore, beg you kindly to recommend a further grant, 
provided that the Government will allow us to defray 
the cost of felling, and floating into town, from the 
amount of timber granted. Without this permission 
the grant would now be quite useless to me, as I could 
not command the means to pay for its transportation, 
and the Karens, having lost two of their elephants, 

R 2 


would not feel able at present to make any further effort. 
Owing in part to their inexperience, the Kannee timber 
was pointed out in the most difficult places possible, in 
the deepest gorges, and on the tops of the highest pin- 
nacles, so that it cost us severe labour, and many months 
of time, with three elephants and a hundred men, to 
obtain it ; and then nearly one-half of the logs had to be 
cut or sawed in pieces. I would, therefore, ask if a fur- 
ther grant be made, that it should be given in localities 
accessible in the dry season by water, and that the 
Goung be ordered to give us sound timber. 
" I am, Sir, 

"Your humble servant, 

"Ellen B. Mason." 

The following was Col. Phayre's immediate reply, 
ordering the Goung to give us standing trees, which 
would ensure good timber. 

" D. Brandis Esquire, 

To the Superintendent of Forests in Pegu, 
" Sir, 

" With reference to Mrs. Mason's request, in a letter 
dated 14th July, 1858, for a farther grant of one hun- 
dred and twenty-five logs of teak timber, for the purpose 
of completing the Karen Female Institute, and your 
remarks thereon in your proceedings, dated 14th in- 
stant, I have the honour to inform you that, under the 
special circumstances of the case, the Commissioner has 


been pleased to accede to Mrs. Mason's request, and 
desires that the timber may be made over to her as 

"9th Oct., 1858." 

Besides the teak, we had to get in a hundred iron- 
wood posts. The heads of tribes reported them all 
felled, each village having felled its share, some twenty, 
some forty logs ; but all they brought in were as crooked 
as serpents, and they could do no better, they said, 
unless I went with them. It was in February, and very 
hot ; but again I walked twelve miles, over mountains 
and gulfs, and not a single straight log could be found. 
I went into my hut too tired to speak, threw myself on 
the mat, and poured out my despair to God. The 
Karens saw without a word that I was distressed, and 
that made them wretched. With heavy hearts we 
assembled that night. 

I tried to be cheerful, but dwelt on the loss of respect- 
ability which would follow to the Karen chiefs, and the 
triumph the Burmese would feel, on comparing the posts 
of Jesus Christ's kyoung with theirs. I avoided, how- 
ever, asking them to cut any more posts. I had not 
spoken long, when the two head chiefs stepped forth 
and harangued the people with so much effect, they all 
voted to fell a hundred more, on condition that I would 
select them ! 

No small task this to go over all these mountains 
again, and find a hundred straight iron-wood trees. 
The next morning I set out, though as with a leaden 

'2±6 HARD WORK. 

weight upon my heart, with a large company impatient 
for the work. 

I soon found three beautiful trees as straight as a 
plumb-line, but from four to five feet in girth around 
the base. 

" Oh, mama, our people could never hew down iron- 
wood trees!" the chiefs exclaimed in dismay. Iron- 
wood is the hardest timber known, and so hard, it is 
seldom used except for house posts. At last they found 
that in no other way could they get them long enough 
or large enough for such a building, and they determined 
to try. Guess at the task — i ight n« n had to work three 
hours, relieving one another, before they got down a single 
one of these trees. Then it took twenty men two days 
to hew it down at the base to the required size. In this 
way I passed over the ridges where iron-wood was found, 
leaving five and six to battle with each tree, as far as 
I could persuade them to join the battle at all. So we 
continued for two weeks before we counted up the whole 

The Mopagas and Bghais were on the point of giving 
up, and some did ; but the Pakus and Mauniepagas 
persevered, exhorting their weaker brethren with great 
gentleness, and at last the tremendous task was accom- 
plished. Then came the dragging or hauling, almost 
the hardest work of all, for some of the best logs we had 
found were in the most inaccessible places. Four of them 
were fifty feet long without the slightest crookedness, 
and one day we sent for one of these far into the deep 
forest. Through ignorance or carelessness, when I was 


not with them, they had felled this one so as to let the 
top fall up the cliff, leaving the large end downwards, on 
the side of a mountain and over a tremendous gorge. 
After a long consultation, it was resolved to hitch the 
elephant to the large end, and try and turn it half round, 
so as to bring it to lie horizontally across the mountain, 
instead of perpendicularly, that we might drag it off, 
ascending circuitously. Not knowing in the least what 
men of sense would do in such a dilemma, I allowed 
them to try this ; but no sooner had the elephant moved 
the log, than it began to slide, pulling the beast down 
after it, and we stood horror stricken, thinking it must 
be dashed over the precipice, rider and all, when it was 
stopped by a large clump of bamboos. The rider, a brave 
boy, had succeeded in leaping off, and as soon as possible 
the tackling was cut, and the poor elephant released. 
But it was so frightened, it could never be made to pull 
any heavy weights afterwards. 

The next day we started again with two elephants, 
two large iron chains, and provisions for two days, deter- 
mined still to have the log ; so they put up a wigwam 
of bamboo branches, and by my continual urging and 
calling, I succeeded in getting all up from the gorges, 
with their water jars and fire- wood, before dark, for tigers, 
we knew, roamed over all that forest. The most diffi- 
cult to get in was old Kargau. He had dug out one of 
those pretty, flesh-coloured bandicots as large as a kitten, 
broken its legs, and stuffed it into his wallet, to suffer ail 
day till it should be spitted alive. 

I sent my assistant to kill it. The mountaineer 


thrust him roughly away. I persisted, and it was at 
last put out of its misery, but the owner never forgave 
it. They tell me it is the practice everywhere either to 
keep their small game alive or strangle it, so as to retain 
the blood. 

Perhaps the Apostles found it as hard to train the 
Antioch Christians. As we assembled that evening 
under the bamboo arches upon the mountain, I called 
the assistant to read Acts xv. 20 } and we had quite a 
warm discussion on the subject. All agreed with me 
that it was wrong, except old Kargau, who had the 
bandicot. lie would not give up. Perhaps the others 
would not if they had found any game, but it so hap- 
pened that he was the only one that caught a bandicot 
that day. 

Toads and frogs they serve in the same manner, and 
toad-hunting is very common. The toads are beat up 
by scraping the bare foot over the grass, when the toad 
will hop or croak, and the hunters pounce upon it at 
once, or give chase, break its legs, and clap it alive into 
their bags. Snakes, too, skinned alive, they stuff wrig- 
ling into their bags for supper; and I really think it 
has cost me more labour to change these cruel practices 
than it ever did to learn a new language. 

Tired and nervous, but not discouraged, my boys and 
I spread our mats and lay down, praying earnestly that 
God would teach me, that I might teach them how to 
obtain the log. Then we made another trial. "We 
took two very strong elephants, placed them above two 
large deep-rooted trees, and hitched two long chains ; 


then some twenty men shouted to the beasts with such 
vehemence, they gave a tremendous pull, and, being 
goaded on, up came the prize, stretched horizontally 
across the hill, right above the great teaks, entirely 
clear from the fearful abyss beneath. When the Karens 
saw the elephants were safe, and the log positively 
secured, they gave one long mountain shout of joy, after 
which we all knelt and gave thanks to God. The same 
day we hauled it up the mountain, and the next day 
into the water. 

The Burmese, when they saw it, said such a log could 
not be bought for a hundred rupees, that it could not be 
found, and no Burman ever did or ever could get such 
a log, or would even make the attempt. 

The poor elephant that was frightened belonged to 
the Girls' School, and cost me four hundred rupees. 
Her name was Poma, and she was so gentle, we could 
always ride on her with safety. She knew my voice 
like a child, and would put her trunk into my boys' 
bedroom window every morning for a plantain. They 
could do anything with her. She would kneel down at 
their bidding, put out her leg for them to climb up, or 
hand them water when they were thirsty, and she de- 
lighted in carrying them across the river on her neck ; 
of course, they were very fond of Poma, and were always 
making up nice bits of barks or tamarinds and salt for 
her, but one day she was brought home sick. She laid 
her trunk on the ground, and tears positively ran down 
her face ! The boys and girls were very sad. I sent 
for a Burman doctor, and took her to our own yard. 

250 poma's death. 

Finally, she seemed better, and was taken off to 
browse among young bamboos, of which they are so 
fond. But a few days had passed when they sent to me 
in haste, saying Poma had fallen down, and was too 
weak to get up. I went to her some two miles. As 
soon as she heard my voice, she stretched out her trunk 
towards me, and moaned as if asking for sympathy. 
The Kan 'lis brought two stout elephants to raise her 
up; but she could not stand, though she took food and 
drink from my hands, and from the girls and boys, while 
she would take from no others ; but, alas, she could not 
swallow, and as soon as we were gone, she rolled it all 
out upon the ground, having taken it from simple 
attachment, so I begged the men to shoot her. Her 
tusks brought forty rupees, but they often sell for eighty 

After five different encampments, absorbing six weeks 
of time, we succeeded in £ettinc: all the loss, with bam- 
boos and ratans to raft them down to the mouth of the 
Karen river. 

I had delayed until nearly dark superintending mat- 
ters, and then found the elephant left for me was an 
ugly brute that I did not dare mount. There was but 
one chief remaining behind, but he and his two men 
set to work and made me a bamboo raft three feet 
wide. On this they poled me down that wild, mad 
river, about six miles to our own camp. The follow- 
ing is a letter written to my friend Mrs. Wylie at this 
time : — 


" I have felt very sad about spending time in the 
jungles, traversing pathless mountains and glens in 
search of timber, but now I see the hand of God leading 
me onward, for in no other way could I have come 
so near the hearts of the people, or been made ac- 
quainted with their individual characters. Now I 
know whom to trust, and how each can be made useful. 

u I am thankful that I was able to be with them, for it 
cheered them not a little, taught them to think and 
reason more correctly, and through God's mercy pre- 
vented sickness. During the last week many came 
in here to see the logs and look upon them with great 
delight and satisfaction. No doubt it will be far better 
for the people that they have had to work hard for the 
timber, for had I purchased it, they never would have 
valued it half so much. Now they are pouring down to 
settle round the Institute. 

" It was one of the most interesting nights I ever 
spent, when we encamped at the mouth of the Kannee 
river after more than three months of hard toil, six 
weeks of which I had spent with them ; now there lay 
the logs, strung to bamboos, filling the river. 

"A hundred Karens were stretched around six or 
eight camp-fires, covering the sand-bank just below my 
booth of grasses perched on the overhanging cliff. 

" The full moon was rising behind the trees, its soft 
light shimmering upon the waters and lighting up the 
faces of the Karens, as they stood in dripping garments, 
some drying themselves around the camp-fires, others 
tending their chatties or their cooking vessels. 


"We all knelt down and poured out our hearts in 
grateful praise, and, after singing a hynm, which 
sounded far over the waters, coming back in echoes 
from the mountains, I got into my little boat, made 
our way through the foaming surf, and rowed down to 
the city, reaching home at midnight." 




A grand festival was that of ours ! I mean the 
" raising." 

It had cost us from two and a-half to three rupees 
each to bring the iron-wood logs to an equal size, and 
plane them. 

Finally, a day was appointed for planting the posts of 
the Institute, and an exciting time we had of it. About 
two hundred workmen came in, but at first they had no 
idea but of merely raising the posts. 

I called the Board, and explained to them how neces- 
sary it was to level the ground and to brick under and 
around the posts, and they said it should be done ; but 
the other chiefs opposed, thinking it a useless waste of 
time. Finally, I was obliged to appear and address the 
crowd, which was so silent, that I spoke only in my 
usual voice, which always seemed to have a strange 
effect upon them ; probably the great contrast between 
my voice and their own high key was the secret of it ; 
but I always recognised on such occasions the immediate 
presence of the Almighty God. Seeing by their eyes 


that all were ready, Chief Ledda of Baugalay seized upon 
the moment, struck an electric cord which brought out 
roars of laughter, and all rushed to the work ; some to 
the ground, others in troops, shouldering their spades 
and pick-axes, for digging out bricks. 

They found this under preparation a pretty formidable 
work, but after three or four days of hard labour it was 
accomplished. Several thousands of bricks had been 
dug out of the old town wall, backed a quarter of a 
mile, boated across the river, and seventy tall, smooth, 
iron-wood posts were firmly planted six feet deep, en- 
closed in brick. In one of the posts was deposited a 
small lead box, in which we had a Government plan 
of the grounds, the history of the Karen Education 
Society, with a photograph of their President, a letter 
from Colonel Phayre, an account of the schools, a 
notice of the Karen Bible, a few letters from the head 
girls, and a few coins. The opening was then so closed 
up, that no one probably could ever find it. 

Connected with this was a Sunday-school celebration, 
the first one ever witnessed by the Karens in Tounghoo. 
The long beautiful lawn between the Institute and Young 
Men's School had been prepared with seats, and a plat- 
form for strangers. Settees had been placed for the 
chiefs and elders, who arose one after another and 
addressed the assembly in their own native languages, 
but with an eloquence perfectly irresistible. 

Several English officers and ladies were present, who 
also addressed the congregation, Mr. Mason interpreting. 
The children then sung the " Happy Land," in Karen. 


Mr. Mason pronounced the benediction, and they were 
left to enjoy the repast. 

Refreshments had been provided by our kind friend 
and helper, Captain Bond, Commander of the Artillery, 
and native food by Mr. Mason. Little eyes were very 
big with expectation on that day, for the long tables on 
the lawn were loaded with boiled fowls, rice, sugar-cane, 
plantains, corn-balls, Shan and Burman sweetmeats, and 
English cakes ; the eating stands were wreathed with 
flowers, and the orphans all appeared in their new dresses, 
given them by Mr. Mason. 

No sooner had we left than down rushed the wild 
Bghais, pouncing like bears over all the tables. 

" Children fed, and grown people hungry !" they mut- 
tered with scorn. " No good, no good." So one seized 
a fowl by the neck, another turned a whole dish of rice 
into his turban, and another filled his wallet with cakes, 
and off they leaped, the ducks and hens dangling, and 
one old man very deliberately munching two corn-balls, 
first one and then the other. 

The children went home in great disappointment. 
The next day I assembled the whole concourse, and read 
to them Luke xiv. 13. "When thou makest a feast, 
call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind : Ye 
shall not afflict my fatherless child ;" and again, " Pure 
religion is to visit the fatherless/' &c. " The stranger, 
the fatherless, and the widow, shall come and eat," and 
asked them if they did not some of them break God's 
law the night before. The Board of Managers imme- 
diately took up the matter, and gave them such a 


sermon, they all cried out, — "Stop, brother, stop! 
We '11 pay ! We "11 pay !" and immediately laid down 
ten rupees to buy again for the children. One chief 
sent off at once to the mountains and brought down 
his fatted pig, and all vied in giving the poor one good 

But the young preachers now came down upon me 
with great earnestness, thinking I could not possibly 
have the least authority for making any festival at all 

Pic-nics, Sunday-school celebrations, gatherings for 
the poor, all alike were " devil feasts" to them. It 
might do for a Christian land, but not among demon 
worshippers, they said. I t<>ld them, if it wounded their 
consciences to see the poor little children get a good 
dinner, they need not come, but such as approved might 
come and make addresses. For my own part, I believed 
the Bible was written for all countries alike, and that 
said, " When ye make a feast, call the halt and the 

The care of the young preachers, however, shows a 
beautiful love for Bible truth, which is their great safe- 
guard, and will, in time, regulate all their intercourse. 
It is of no use to talk to these people, unless you can 
prove from the Bible it is right. The following letter 
from Mr. Mason shows their earnest desire for truth : — 

" No feature of the work among the Karens appears 
so full of promise as the eagerness with which the young 
preachers seek for instruction on Biblical subjects. Dur- 
ing the three or four weeks spent with our Associations, 


whenever I sat down to eat, there were always a number 
of young men around me seeking information on difficult 
subjects ; and when I strolled into the forest, a long 
peripatetic train questioned me at every step. Some- 
times I would seat myself to rest on a granite rock, 
overlooking the plains thousands of feet below, when all 
would quickly surround me, — a crowd of young men 
with their open Testaments, each one eager to ask con- 
cerning some passage or other that he found it difficult to 
comprehend. One would desire me to explain Paul's 
assertion, ' For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain/ 
Another, the expression : ' I am crucified to the world, 
and the world is crucified unto me.' - A third finds it 
difficult to understand, ' I could wish myself accursed 
from Christ.' A fourth could not comprehend our 
Lord's language in relation to John the Baptist ; while 
still another was perplexed with Peter's statement, that 
' David had not ascended into heaven.' ' David, the 
good man who wrote the Psalms, has surely gone to 
heaven. Were there two Davids ?' Some had chrono- 
logical difficulties to settle ; others asked for historical 
information, and still others had numerous inquiries to 
make on the natural productions mentioned in the 
Bible ; while not a few had questions to ask which 
Gabriel himself could not answer. Thus a single lec- 
ture would be diversified like mosaic, with theology and 
botany, exegesis and zoology, metaphysics and light- 
ning wires, history, sacred and profane, geography, 
ancient and modem, with a sprinkling of almost every 
other subject of the past, the present, and the future. 


After lying down to sleep, I often heard the younger 
teachers inquiring of their seniors the signification of 
various passages, and asking information on numerous 
topics on which they had been instructed. In this way 
the knowledge communicated to one is passed on to tens, 
twenties, and thirties, making my school of theology 
as wide as the province, and its pupils as numerous as 
the ministry within its borders ; and it is an undeniable 
fact, that when we need a man to go to a station where 
there is real self-denial to be endured, it is one of this 
irregular corps who volunteers. They are the cream of 
the churches, rising by the law of moral power, a law as 
immutable as the law of gravitation/'* 

It was while in the Kannee jungles that I made a trip 
into the ancient Mopaga country in the north. 

We started with one elephant, but found the road so 
very steep and rough, I sent it back. 

The path led over three sharp alpine peaks, and 
through as many deep glens ; then out gushed broad 
sunlight over an immense paddy field, with here and 
there a wee bit of a shanty, and I began to congratulate 
myself on finding a resting spot again, when I chanced 
to look forward, and lo, there were the boys who carried 
my little bundle, away on the tip-top of another cliff 
as far as the eye could reach. I had been quite ill the 
night before with fever, and was far too weak for such 

* Mr. Mason means that no school can make the man, bnt he 
would also say that no man can be made without the school, or 
without letters. No man can be a warrior without his arms. 


a jaunt, but it was useless to look back when once 
started ; and, besides, we could not look downward 
without clinging to the bamboos, as we should have 
gone to the very deeps. So we went plodding on, and 
even after reaching the narrow opening in the sky, by 
clinging to the roots, rocks, and whatever could help 
us, still no house appeared, nor the slightest vestige 
of any village ; but, following our guide, we wound along 
on the side of the hill, down, down, down, and were 
about to step off into a gorge as black as night, when 
a dozen hands were raised, and a whole flood of moun- 
tain music burst up the ravine, and held us spell-bound ! 
It was the little congregation of Wechaduc, yet far 
distant, at prayer, and singing, 

" Rock of Ages, cleft for me," 

in their own native tongue. 

I stayed my steps, and listened with emotions inde- 
scribable, glancing over the whole history of the past 
four years in as many minutes, until lost in bewildering 
joy, for well did I recollect the first visit of those tau- 
beahs to our house. The leader was the minstrel who 
came to inquire if God's Son had come from heaven. 
Now he came smiling down the glen to meet me, his 
babe in a blanket upon his back for me to bless ! And 
on reaching the house, all the mothers, to the number 
of a hundred, I should think, brought forth their infants 
for me to lay my hand upon their heads. I knew not 
what to do, whether to gratify them or not, for it 
seemed fearful to think of standing in the place of our 

s 2 


Blessed Redeemer. However, I patted their little heads, 
and shook hands with some four hundred, then went 
into the chapel, and explained to them who alone could 
bless their little ones. 

The whole village consisted of only one house, besides 
the chapel and teacher's residence. 

Imagine a building four hundred feet long and thirty 
wide, divided into some thirty rooms ; then another 
house parallel, just separated by a verandah three feet 
broad ; then still another parallel, separated by a verandah 
just the same, and all three alike, except the central 
row, which is perhaps ten feet shorter at each end, 
leaving an open court in front and a work-yard behind. 
This central row belongs to the chief and his relations, 
and he holds his court in the first hall. Each compart- 
ment has its little bedrooms, just long enough to stretch 
one's-self in, with cooking-box and all manner of jungle 
apparatus strewn on bamboos above ; while beneath is 
a pigsty, walled up with bamboos to the floor, which is 
about six or eight feet from the ground, with little trap- 
doors in the floor, so that they may feed the pigs without 
going out ! There are three separate roofs to the build- 
ing, and under the eaves extend long bamboo spouts. 
This constitutes the village of Wechaduc, one of the 
largest of the Mopaga tribe. 

I found forty children in this village who could read 
very well and repeat the Catechism by heart. Several 
of them had been baptized. This school was taught by 
Nau Tejau, one of the Bghai head girls of the Institute. 

The rains are pouring hard. The sawyers have all 


run away — will not work in the rain — demand higher 
wages. I arn in distress ; have no means to go on with 
the work. I call in the chiefs and girls, lay the case 
before them, and entreat them to ask God for money to 
complete the building for His glory. All bow in prayer. 
Eight o'clock, — nine o'clock — ten o'clock, and still we 
plead there upon our faces : 

" Lord, if this undertaking pleaseth thee, ' Establish 
thou the work of our hands.' " 

In the morning I go out, and look over the half-sawed 
logs. Saws all still — not a soul comes. I cannot raise 
wages — I have no money. Oh Lord, do not suffer thy 
servants to be put to shame ! Oh Lord, the heathen are 
rejoicing. They revile thy name — they cry, " Aha ! 
aha ! where is now your God ? " Oh Lord, make haste 
to deliver us. 

At two o'clock comes the mail — there is a letter, and 
I read : — 

" Calcutta, August 8th, 1859. 
" My dear Mrs. Mason, 

" You will see, by my letter to your husband, that 
I have had the pleasure to receive from a friend a dona- 
tion of eight hundred rupees for your school. It is 
from a friend who has lately gone to England. 


Thanks, oh thanks, to the Almighty Jehovah ! Now 
" Let the heathen rage and imagine vain things," but 
we will acknowledge the Lord our deliverer. 




" Why cannot the Karens have a banner — a national 
banner — now that such numbers of them are coming out 
of heathenism ? " This question was asked among the 
chiefs of Tounghoo, after a visit to the cantonments, 
where they had examined with great delight the English 

The Institute being set up, the question of banners 
arose, and it was decided that every Karen clan which 
joined the Education Society, and helped to support the 
Girls' School, should be allowed to put up a banner on 
the building. Six clans raised theirs at once, taking 
for their distinctive flags the clan-emblems embroidered 
on their tunics. These are seen on the front posts or 
iron-wood pillars of the Institute. They represent the 
Sgaus, Pakus, Mauniepagas, Mopagas, Bghais, and 
Pant-Bghais, who have joined the enterprise. This 
excited a great deal of enthusiasm, and the village 
maidens all vied with one another in weaving- and 
embroidering the most beautiful flags. 

It was after erecting these banners for the tribes that 
the question came up concerning a national emblem or 


a Union standard for all. Quala took np the subject 
with earnestness, and sent an epistle to the churches 
in Tounghoo. He then chose a device for them, 
which was a Bible with a sword across it. This banner 
has recently been presented to the nation. The follow- 
ing is an account of its presentation extracted from the 
New York World, of August 8th, 1860 :— 

" In the Mariners' church, in New York, last Sab- 
bath evening, a national banner was presented by one of 
the largest Bible societies in America to the most inte- 
resting and hopeful nation in all Asia, the Karens. 

" This strange, wild people are being rapidly Chris- 
tianized, and they have sent to America for a national 
flag to commemorate their exodus out of heathenism, — 
the most remarkable and exhilarating request that we 
have ever heard of from a new nation. 

" The following remarkable letter was read from the 
principal native teacher : — 


" c To all the churches in Tavoy, Maulmain, Rangoon, 
Bassein, Shwagyn, Tounghoo, and Prome, greeting ! 

" ' To the great teachers, small teachers, men and 
women, young women, young men, deacons, elders, old 
and young, one and all, greeting ! 

" ' I, a son of Tavoy, Teacher Quala, trust you all 
know and understand the word of God, and can speak 
of the things pertaining to the truth and light which 
God has given us. In order that we may be able to 


conquer our enemies, and escape from every evil hand, 
God has given us a weapon. What is it ? What kind 
of a weapon is it ? 

'"Behold! The children of Judah, when they 
escaped out of the hands of the Egyptians, in order that 
their children might understand how they were delivered 
out of their hands, erected banners with emblems of the 
hawk, the lion, the bear, and ox. 

" ' Again, the English nation, when they escaped out 
of the hands of the idolatrous Romans, erected a stand- 
ard of the cross as a national emblem ; and when their 
king went to rescue Jerusalem from the Moslem invaders, 
took back Judah's lion, so that future generations might ( 
understand. Again, the Americans, when they declared 
independence, erected a national emblem of the eagle, 
with stars and stripes. This was to inform every nation 
that they would rise heavenward, over every enemy. 

" ' Therefore, my brethren, young and old, mothers 
and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, nieces and 
nephews, uncles and aunts, cousins and friends, children 
and grandchildren, we, the uncivilized, the children of 
the forest, barbarians, without books or understanding, 
without a king or a name in the earth, we, the nation 
in thick darkness, whom God has compassionated and 
sent His own Son Jesus Christ to save out of our dark- 
ness and bondage ; — we, in the year of the world five 
thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, received books 
from the hands of the teachers — the children of America. 
We received the Holy Bible, the words of God, and 
the ten commandments which He gave to His people, the 


children of Israel, by the hand of Moses. This was a 
treasure more precious than all the books of the earth — 
the best above all books ; the Chief among books. 

" ' We, the Karens, were like wild beasts of the 
mountains — like the wild speckled fowl of the jungles. 
We had no knowledge, no understanding, no power. 
But now we have received instruction indeed. Now to 
us Karens God has given books and teachers, and now 
we, too, have schools and school-houses all our own. 
Therefore it is well if we rejoice with exceeding great 
joy ; and now let us erect a National Banner, as other 
Book nations have done. Let us erect it over our school- 
houses, and let us choose for our emblem, not a lion or 
any beast, but the weapon which God hath given us by 
which to subdue our enemies — even the " Word of 
God, which is the Sword of the Spirit." 

" ' Now, teachers and teacheresses, friends, the children 
of God among the Karens everywhere — what think you ? 
Will this be good, or will you differ from me ? Instruct 
me, I pray you, if there is a better way. Dear friends, 
let us think of what our mothers taught us. " Dogs go 
in troops ; they catch the deer. Villages united conquer 
enemies." This is what I have to say : " If many work 
together, much the reward, and the greater their 

" 'Dear friends, let us look at Luke xii. 15. I have 
seen a letter — Karen teachers asking support of the 
foreign teachers, and I was greatly ashamed. Brethren, 
teachers, churches, all, consider, I pray you. The white 
foreign teachers were like our father and mother ; first, 


they had to be instructed by others, but they did not 
lean on their instructors for their curry and rice. They 
did not ask their teachers to feed them. Let us follow 
the white foreigners, and learn of them till we can make 
clocks, and glass, and swords, and cannon, and tele- 
scopes, and fire-carriages — till we know the earth's 
boundaries, all nations and medicines ; but let us sup- 
port our own schoolmasters and preachers. 

" ' The white foreigners do not ask the Burmese to 
feed their teachers. The Burmese have teachers, and 
they do not ask the white men to feed theirs. There- 
fore there is no place for us to ask — not in the least. 

" ' Do we not know ? Do we not understand ? Birds 
build nests ; the young ones learn. Fathers die ; sons 
take their seats. Mothers die ; daughters take the 
mothers' places ; and think, I pray you, of King Solo- 
mon's words : " A wise son is the joy of his father, but 
a foolish son is the grief of his mother." 

" ' Let us not seek for ourselves alone, but seek, plan, 
and devise for our posterity down to the remotest gene- 
ration. Therefore let us erect a banner for our whole 
nation, and glorify God, that the surrounding nations 
may know that we have come out from heathenism, and 
are determined to be a Christian people. 

" ' Quala.' 

" This is a literal translation of Quala's Karen letter, 
published in the Star, a monthly paper printed in the 
Karen language. At the time of presentation, the 
Secretary of the American and Foreign Bible Society, 


the Rev. F. Haynes, preached a very able sermon. The 
Rev. Mr. Stewart then made over the flag to the Bible 
Society, remarking that his congregation had given till 
he had to tell them to stop giving ; and Mr. Haynes, 
on receiving it, made some stirring remarks in re- 
lation to the Mariners' Church, especially in con- 
nexion with a member going out from it who had been 
the first source of the great Swedish reformation in 

" The flag has a blue ground, with the device of a 
Bible and sword in colours, and a motto : ' The sword 
or the Spirit, which is the Word of God.' The 
motto is in the Karen language, in large white letters. 

" At the close of the sermon, Mr. Haynes presented 
the flag on behalf of the American and Foreign Bible 
Society. Mrs. Mason received it in place of her hus- 
band, now in Burmah, on behalf of the nation. Mrs. 
Mason then replied as follows : — 

* In 1834, F. 0. Nilsson, a converted Swedish sailor, was baptized 
by the Rev. Mr. Stewart, of the Mariners' Church, N. Y. In 1839, 
he returned to his native land to preach the Gospel to his countrymen 
and kindred. After labouring several years amid persecutions, fines, 
and imprisonment, he was finally banished from the kingdom, leaving 
fifty-six baptized believers scattered in different districts. 

In 1855, the American Baptist Publication Society adopted a 
system of Colportage for Sweden, and on the 8th of September, 
the Rev. A. Wiberg, as Superintendent of Colportage, sailed for 
Stockholm, where he arrived on the 7th of November. Some fifteen 
Colporteurs were appointed, and soon all Sweden was traversed by 
this devoted band. As the result, there are now upwards of one 
hundred Baptist Churches, with a membership of between five and 
six thousand. 

268 THANKS. 

" ' I beg to tliank the American and Foreign Bible 
Society for this Karen National Banner. I thank you, 
Sir, in behalf of the twenty-five thousand Karen converts 
of Burmah, enlightened by the Bible which your Society 
has so liberally given them, in their own language. 

" ' I thank you in behalf of my husband, the trans- 
lator of the Bible for the Karen nation. I thank you 
in behalf of the four hundred young preachers and 
teachers of the Karen nation ; in behalf of the four 
hundred district schools of the nation ; in behalf of the 
four hundred Sunday-schools of the nation ; in behalf 
of the seventy-five thousand Karens who have deter- 
' mined to come out from heathenism, and to receive 
Christian books. 

" ' It may be known to you that many believe that 
a hundred years hence the Karens will be the ruling 
power in India, and the Missionary nation to all Asia, 
the right-hand of the English nation, because they so 
generally receive the Bible, while so many of the nations 
reject it. Therefore I thank you, Sir, in behalf of all 
the hundreds of thousands of Christianized, civilized 
Karens who shall tell of this gift to their children, and 
wave this national banner ; and especially I would thank 
you in behalf of the women of the Karen nation.' " 




It was on my way to Tounghoo that I wrote an 
account of my school plans to my kind friend, Robert 
Scott Moncrieff, Esq., of Calcutta. His brother, the 
Rev. W. Scott Moncrieff, of London, took the letter 
immediately to Miss Webb, Secretary of the " Society 
for Promoting Female Education in the East." I 
had then never heard of that Society. 

And as if God would say, " There shall be no failure 
when I undertake," he had previously sent the Rev. 
W. Hazeldine to see Miss Webb. Mr. Hazeldine was 
Chaplain at Tounghoo, and had been out on a tour 
among the Karens, where he took the jungle fever> 
which had compelled him to return to England ; but 
he had carried with him there a world of sympathy 
for the Karens. Now, I beg to ask if any Christian 
man, woman, or child, can doubt for one moment that 
there was in all this a most remarkable answer to 

The Society for Female Education in the East 
has been in existence twenty-eight years ; has sent out, 
according to the Report for 1862, one hundred and 


three female teachers ; had then raised £53,355 ; had 
sent out work for sale to the amount of i?31,830 ; and 
rendered aid in various ways to Girls' Schools, super- 
intended by Missionaries' wives, and by private indi- 
viduals. Two hundred and fourteen of these schools 
are, at present, in connexion with the Society; yet 
what are these among so many ? They have Native 
as well as European teachers in the field, and are 
labouring in China, Burmah, the Punjaub, Calcutta, 
Benares, Lucknow, Madras, Tinnevelly, Bombay, and 
many other parts of India, Ceylon, Mauritius, South 
Africa, West Africa, the Levant, and Egypt. Yet this 
Society began with nothing in 1834, and has been 
carried on entirely by ladies, and ladies of different 
denominations, working in union for one single object, 
the glory of God in the salvation of heathen women. 

Its Report for 1860 closes with this striking, and in 
America almost forgotten, command : — 

" And bring my daughters from the ends of the 

On hearing of my undertaking for the women of 
Tounghoo, Miss Webb, the Secretary, immediately 
opened communication with me, and very kindly made 
inquiries-coffering to help us. This drew forth the 
following letter : — 

" Tounghoo, August 22nd, 1858. 
" My deae Fkiend, 

" I feel myself under great obligations to your Society 
for taking an interest in Burmah. I thank you, espe- 

OUR girls' school. 271 

cially, for thinking of our dear Karens, and in so friendly 
a manner offering me aid. I recognise in this fact a 
clear answer to my prayers. I see as striking evidences 
that the Lord is working among these Karen mountains 
as if a voice from heaven should proclaim, ' This is 
God's work in the land of the Bghais.' 

"Our second term and three days' examination are 
just over. The girls have been more successful in learn- 
ing than I have ever seen girls in my native country in 
the same time. They have now a tolerably exact know- 
ledge of the Gospel of Matthew, the Acts, the history of 
the Old Testament, the geography of Asia, Europe, 
North and South America, and a good understanding 
of the solar system. The latter has been particularly 
interesting to them, because they have always been 
taught that in an eclipse of the sun or the moon a demon 
devours the heavenly bodies. 

" Our Girls' School numbered, the last term, sixty 
members, all from the best families of the Pakus, Mo- 
pagas, Bghais, and Pant-Bghais. They have not in a 
single instance appeared in soiled apparel. They have 
washed and cooked for themselves, and brought their 
own food from the market. One was expelled from the 
institution for theft ; but severe measures were required 
in only one or two instances. One of these was the case 
of a chief's daughter, who, for neglect of duty, was sent 
out of school, or rather for a week was not allowed to 
recite her lessons. This was a great trial to her, as she 
had been the first in the school. Still I saw no mani- 
festation of anger ; on the contrary, all that she said 


was to beg for forgiveness, and she returned a humble 
and polite girl. 

" The other case gave me great anxiety. We had a 
rule that every pupil should have her hah* put up in a 
decent and orderly manner when she came into the 
school-room in the morning. One day almost half of 
the o-irls had neglected this duty. I sent them back to 
their rooms ; and when I called them, not one appeared. 
There was evidently an opposition to the rule. They 
were all forbidden to enter the school or come into my 
room for three days. This was a great trial to them, 
though they had their meals as usual. On the second 
day, three of them declared their resolution to return 
home, and they would have done so, if others had been 
willing to follow them. I feared and prayed. But I 
sent them only this word, that if they went away, they 
would show to all the churches that they could not 
humble their hearts, and all the headmen would rejoice 
that they did not need them for teachers. That was 
enough. Not one of them left, and I had no further 
trouble in respect to cleanliness. Often during this 
period I would see their sparkling eyes peeping through 
the bamboos during the hour of recitation ; that was a 
favourite hour with all, for I had introduced the custom 
of allowing them to examine me, instead of my examin- 
ing them. 

" I have for the Female Department one paid male 
teacher, two assistants, one Paku, and one Bghai ; then 
two other sub-assistants, one for the sick and one for the 
bazaar business. These are permanent. Under these 


are six heads for the boarding department, two for house- 
work, two for sewing, two for the ground around and 
under the houses, and one for the sick. Besides these, 
we have ten monitors chosen monthly ; the other heads 
are chosen weekly. The monitors see that all bathe and 
dress their hair properly, keep their places in the classes, 
and recite correctly. 

" In the Young Men's School I have the superinten- 
dence of two general teachers, one cook, two hospital- 
heads, two house-heads, and two heads for the grounds ; 
these heads, too, are all chosen weekly, the monitors 

" Every Wednesday morning all assemble together, 
young men and young women, to take lessons in good 
manners, and in keeping a day-book.* So everything 
goes on in an orderly manner, whether I am present or 
not. No one receives the least pay, except an arithmetic- 
book or the money to purchase one. 

" By having two schools at the same time, I find 
many opportunities to instruct the young men as to 
their behaviour to the other sex. For example, it was 
a rule that six of the girls entrusted with the marketing 
and six of the men should purchase all their vegetables 
at the bazaar, and bring them home. I soon discovered 
that while the girls came home with heavy baskets on 
their backs, the young gentlemen tripped on before with 

* In this day-book we made a record of every rod of land which 
they cleared, every foot of road they made, and every stump they 
dug up, which excited great emulation among them, and saved the 
school much sickness in term time. 



a very light bag or bundle under the arm. I took great 
pains to change this custom, in which, however, I did 
not entirely succeed, because the young men were not in 
the least ashamed of it, and the girls were disposed to 
boast of the burdens they carried. One of the teachers 
said to me — 

" ' Mama, if our wives work much and carry heavy 
burdens, we love them ; if not, we hate them.' That is 
the prevailing feeling among the unbelievers. In time, 
I think I shall succeed in bringing the young men to 
be ashamed of such things ; but it takes more than one 
term to change heathen customs. 

" At the public examination I desired the best of the 
young students to examine the girls in the presence of 
the assembled chiefs ; but I did not venture fully to un- 
fold their attainments, lest I should awaken opposition 
to the school. In fact, a teacher has already come out 
openly, and declared to the chiefs that they would yet 
come under woman's government. Pray for me ! Oh, 
pray for us in this exigency ; for here lies our great 
danger. Many were at the outset opposed to a girls' 
school, because, they said, the girls would become indo- 
lent and useless ; but, in fact, they feared lest they 
should acquire knowledge. To obviate this objection, 
the girls have willingly taken their spades and worked 
in the garden two hours daily, labouring as zealously as 
the men. 

" The men settlers around our place have a good 
school-house, and support a teacher for all the children 
in the village. My two boys examine this school every 


Saturday, and teach the children Bible history from pic- 
tures, requiring the scholars to read everything in the 
Karen Bible. They repeat what has been learned before 
the whole assembly at the close of the Sabbath-school, 
which embraces all the colonists, male and female to- 
gether, with both the schools. 

" As these people live around me, I have a good 
opportunity to accustom them to cleanliness, order, 
morality, uprightness, love of children, and sympathy 
with the sick and bereaved, all duties which they deeply 
need to be taught ; so that even in this respect a school 
is formed in which I esteem it a precious privilege to 
give instruction. 

" In regard to all that God, the Almighty God, and 
not man, has done here, I can say, Behold, God is my 
salvation. I will trust and not be afraid, for Jehovah 
the Lord is my strength. He whose throne is in 
Heaven — who sends His word upon earth, and His 
word runs very swiftly, He will rule from sea to sea, and 
from the river to the end of the earth. They who dwell 
in the wilderness shall bow before Him; for He will 
save the poor when he crieth, and the needy, and him 
that hath no helper. He is God, the faithful God, who 
keeps covenant and faithfulness, — the Almighty. Dur- 
ing the last year I have learned the meaning of that 
name, the Almighty, for no one can pray, ' Give us this 
day our daily bread,' like one who has no bread. 

" When I first resolved to attempt this self-sustaining 
school, I promised my husband that I would write to 
some Society in England or Scotland, and endeavour to 

T 2 


obtain help for myself. But my duties were so pressing, 
that for six months I could not find time to do it. 
During this period God had sent me so much, I could 
not find the heart to do it. It seemed to me a thing 
forbidden. It appeared as if God had called me to trust, 
and to lift up my eyes to the hills from whence all my 
help came. I did so without fear or doubt, and now He 
has sent your Society to aid me further. 

" I think I shall let the Karen girls of the highest 
class enter the Ornamental department. Because they 
are so diligent, Mr. Mason thinks they have a good 
claim to this privilege, and they take great pleasure in 
drawing, embroidering, and music. Even our old chief- 
tains looked on the drawing-books of the girls with 
visible pride, having a taste for art and brilliant colours. 
I will give an instance to show their love of the beau- 
tiful. After the posts of the house, sixty in number, 
were well set, I said to a member of the building com- 
mittee that they would look very pretty if they were 
painted and lackered. The very next week the Pakus 
and Maunies brought one hundred and thirteen rupees 
for this object. One or two days afterwards, a Mopaga 
head-man visited us, and wished to learn how every- 
thing was to be done. I mentioned this, and asked him 
if he had heard what the Pakus were doing. He knew 
nothing of it, and said not a word, but after three days 
he came again with two other aged head-men, and 
counted out ninety-three rupees as a contribution from 
two villages only, for the purchase of paint for the 
posts ! 


" The land, building apparatus, furniture, and every- 
thing indeed appertaining to the School, is made over 
legally to the Karen Education Society, that Society 
engaging to support and carry it on perpetually from 
' generation to generation.' So that no Foreign Society, 
or individual, can have any claim upon the property of 
the Institute, or any control over it, it being left wholly 
to their own Board of Managers to control for them- 
selves. With this knowledge before your Society, could 
you help me ? 

" If you would undertake the permanent support of 
a principal and a native female assistant, you would 
relieve me of much anxiety. The support of a single 
lady would amount to about <!?72 sterling per year. 
The support of an assistant for the Karen department 
would be i?10 sterling, and for the Burmese, ^?18. As 
to myself, I have no fears. I only wish that the 
existence of the school may be made as secure as 

(Signed) " Ellen B. Mason." 

The Report of the Society for 1860 gives the follow- 
ing result : — 

" There are few fields of Missionary effort upon which 
the eye of the Christian rests with more adoring wonder 
and gratitude than upon Burmah. The deep interest 
which the Committee anticipated would be felt by their 
friends in connecting themselves with this work, as 
announced in the last report, has not been disap- 
pointed, and the ' Special Fund for Burmah ' has almost 


met the demands upon it. Of Mrs. Mason's Training 
School for Karen girls at Tounghoo, the Committee 
have received heart-stirring accounts, and they have 
rejoiced in being able to support this labourer in her 
arduous yet delightful Murk. The large supplies of 
school apparatus, which the liberality of their friends 
placed at their disposal for her, have arrived safely. 

" The Committee have this year undertaken also the 
maintenance of a native female teacher for a school for 
Burmese Karen trirls at Kemendine, under the superin- 
tendence of Mrs. Inqalls. To those who are ac- 
quainted with the history of that mission which ' Judson 
prayed into existence/ her name needs no introduction ; 
and much gratification has been felt at this opportunity 
of sustaining her self-denying and zealous efforts for the 
benefit of the heathen females amongst whom she has 
taken up her abode." 

Thus wonderfully did God open the minds and hearts 
of English Christian- t- Bee the utility of the work, and 
to sympathize in my undertaking, when I had almost 
said, My father and my mother had forsaken me ; then 
the Lord took me up. 

And now I sing, 

" I love the Lord, because lie hath heard my voice 
and my supplication, because He hath inclined His ear 
unto me ; therefore icill I call upon Hun as long as 
I lire." 





I am in the mountain village of Baumuduc ; — a chief 
enters in high spirits. 

" We 've seen the Perdo ! the Perdo ! " 

"Well, what did he say?" 

" Oh, he's God's Commissioner!" — rubbing his hands 
— "he's God's Commissioner !" 

" Why, how do you know ? " 

" Oh, he shook hands with the children I I know he 
loves us !" 

The Commissioner of Pegu had just made Tounghoo 
a visit, and attended the Paku Association. He gave 
his hand to every one, old and young, and would even 
stop his great horse, and reach down for the wee babies 
which the mothers held up, by which he greatly won 
the confidence of the Karens. They were much de- 
lighted with his kind acts in helping them to teak 
for their chapels, and in appointing for them their own 
magistrates. In many other ways he also won for him- 
self golden tablets in their memories. 

Mountain is here piled over mountain, but after two 


days we espied an opening leading to what appeared to 
be an old inhabited country, with a pinnacle some six 
hundred feet high, looming up before us perpendicularly, 
crested with a cluster of gigantic bamboos. Just under 
this cluster, upon one side of the summit, stretched the 
tabernacle along the ridge; a most picturesque sight, 
but I think I was full three hours in reaching the place 
after the scene burst upon us. News had gone before, 
and on reaching the base of the pinnacle, the path was 
bordered on either side by disciples all the way to the 
door of the chapel, waiting to hail the Commissioner as 
their benefactor. 

Colonel Phayre remained five days, attending every 
sen-ice, and listening to all the speeches, which were 
partially interpreted to him as they were spoken. He 
gave us resolutions and speeches on educational pur- 
suits, on supporting the schools, on caring for teachers, 
— true Missionary orations, equal to any in London or 
Boston. Sgaus, Pakus, Mauniepagas, Mopagas, Bghais, 
and Pant-Bghais, also addressed the assembly, and the 
scene was perfectly exhilarating. One esteemed deacon 
rose to speak in a soiled dress, when another told him 
to sit down, and let the clean folks talk, but generally 
there was an evident striving to be tidy and respectable. 
Each village had its booth encircling the great tabernacle, 
so that I fancied myself in the feast of tabernacles 
among; the cedars of Lebanon. 

After our Association closed, we made an excursion 
over the top of the mountain, down to sweet "Wathako — 
a charming spot in a basin of the mountain, where we 


found a new teak chapel, very neatly built as far as it 
was completed, which had already cost the little church 
a thousand rupees. The one in the village where the 
Association met had cost them fifteen hundred rupees, 
all paid by themselves. 

The village was swept clean, and we all went into the 
old chapel and had a pic-nic. Everything looked civi- 
lized and advancing, and the children were well trained 
in school. 

Encircling this village in the mountains were groves 
of many hundred betel-nut trees. A betel or Areca-nut 
grove is one of the most agreeable objects the eye rests 
on in Burmah. Imagine two hundred trees with trunks 
as large as hop-poles, forty feet high, without a single 
branch or leaf except at top, the fronds, of the 
freshest green, then floating out in loveliness and grace, 
while the whole ground is made a chess-board of tiny 
brooks to water the trees. 

It was at this place that they had made an attempt 
to overcome two boys, when the Gospel was first preached 
there. One man entreated Pwapau to remain, and 
declared he himself would become his pupil whether 
others did or not. But the young men began to come 
in, and he soon had a school of forty scholars. After 
awhile, the father of two of the lads sent to call them 
home, to keep a feast to the nats. The boys sternly 
refused to go, or to perform any more heathen rites. 
The next day over came the men of the village, thirty 
or forty, stoutly armed, and surrounded the school-house. 
One of the boys was caught, and compelled to march off 

282 commissioner's report. 

to the feast ; but the other, Talaoo, leaped out of the 
back of the house, dashed into the jungle, and escaped. 
This young man made a glowing speech on the Bible at 
the Association, and the chief who led the armed band 
was there too, and made a speech. He is now a deacon 
of the church. 

The following is the Commissioner's Report : — 

" To Cecil Beadon, Esquire, 

" Secretary to the Government of India, 

" Calcutta. 

" Sir, 

" 1. Having lately returned to the station of Toung- 
hoo, from a Bhort tour among the Karen mountain 
tribes dwelling to the east of the Sit tang river, I have 
the honour to submit, for the information of His 
Excellency the Governor- General in Council, a brief 
report of what I have observed among that interesting 
race of people. 

" 2. The mountainous country of the Tounghoo dis- 
trict, in which the Karen tribes reside, extends over an 
area of about two thousand square miles. It is bounded 
by the line of the British frontier, with Burmah on the 
north, along the parallel of 1.9° 29' north latitude, on 
the south by the river Yonkthwa, which divides it from 
the Martaban province, on the east by the country of 
the independent Red Karens, and on the west by the 
lowlands skirting the Sittang river. Within the above 
tract of country dwell the several tribes distinguished 
by the Burmese under the general name of Karen. 

commissioner's report. 283 

These tribes, though acknowledging a relationship to 
each other in race, yet bear separate distinctive names 
for themselves. Their dialects, in some instances, differ 
from each other, so as to render communication be- 
tween the tribes nearly as difficult as if the languages 
were altogether distinct. The following are the names 
of the several tribes or clans within the above tract 
of country : — 

" 1. Paku. 2. Mauniepaga. 3. Bghai, divided into 
two sections. 4. Wewau. 5. Sgau. 6. Mopaga, and 
one or two more not yet satisfactorily ascertained. 

"3. It is impossible to give an accurate return of the 
numbers of these people, but they may be stated gene- 
rally to be about fifty thousand, of whom more than 
twenty thousand souls are either professed Christians or 
under Christian instruction and influence. They are 
scattered over mountains which rise five thousand feet 
above the sea. Their villages seldom contain more than 
thirty or forty houses. Their cultivation, like that of 
all the Indo-Chinese mountaineers, is carried on, not by 
terracing the hills, but by cutting down the forest on 
the mountain sides, burning the whole mass of timber 
and grass, and then sowing the seed in the ground 
among the ashes. 

" As the next rain washes away the fertile vegetable 
soil, a crop cannot again be raised on the same spot 
for some ten or fifteen years. Each village, there- 
fore, requires a wide extent of mountain land in order 
to have a rotation of cultivatable spots. This method of 
cultivation acts as a barrier to the progress of the 

284 commissioner's report. 

people, since they are engaged in a constant struggle 
against the forest. 

" 4. Up to the year 1853, the several tribes, and it 
may even be said the different villages of the same tribe, 
lived in a state of enmity and actual warfare with each 
other. By open force or by stealthy manoeuvre, they 
would capture women and children, and sell them as 
slaves to other tribes ; while they generally put to death 
all grown-up men who fell into their power. These pre- 
datory habits still exist, more or less, among those tribes 
who have not accepted Christianity. 

" 5. In my annual administration report I have nar- 
rated how, by the unwearied labours of the Rev. Dr. and 
Mrs. Mason, of San Qnala, ami other Christian Karen 
teachers from the Tenasserim provinces, Christianity 
has been introduced among these tribes ; how their lan- 
guages have been mastered and reduced to writing, and 
how religion and education have simultaneously wrought 
a vast change in the habits, the feelings, and the hearts 
of these wild mountaineers. 

" 6. The Government has been pleased in past years 
to make grants of money to Dr. and Mrs. Mason for the 
translation of books, and for the building of the school 
for Karen females at Tounghoo. Having now been pre- 
sent at the meeting in a central mountain village of a 
considerable number of people from all the tribes — an 
annual gathering held to recount their past proceedings, 
to compare their progress, and to animate each other to 
future effort — having witnessed this deeply-interesting 
meeting, I deem it my duty to report, for the informa- 


tion of his Excellency the Governor- General in Council, 
the result so far of the work which has been going on 
among these tribes. 

" 7. Their educational institutions are closely con- 
nected with their village or clan system. Each village 
community constitutes a church or congregation in 
itself. Among the Sgau, Mauniepaga, Paku, and We- 
wau tribes, there are fifty-eight stations or churches. 
At each village there is a teacher and a school. The 
teachers are generally young men of the tribe who have 
been selected and instructed under the care of the Rev. 
Dr. Mason. The village teacher is not in all cases an 
ordained Minister, but he it is who conducts the public 
worship, and is also the schoolmaster. In each village 
a church is erected, and the school is held in the same 
building. At those villages which I have visited, these 
mountain places of worship were neat wooden buildings, 
with a house adjoining for the Minister or Teacher. All 
are built at the expense of the people, and the Teacher is 
entirely supported by the same means. I need hardly 
add, that it is a completely voluntary system. A bam- 
boo fence, put round the church and the Teacher's or 
Minister's dwelling, separates them from the rest of the 

" 8. Among the other tribes, namely, the Bghai and 
Mopaga, there are sixty-two stations, or parishes, as 
they may be termed, which I am informed are provided 
for in every respect as above described. 

" 9. In January, 1859, the Paku Association of all 
the churches belonging to that and some adjoining tribes 


held a meeting, at which I was present. It was at a 
village named Baugalay, situated on a fine commanding 
position, at some three thousand feet elevation, with 
forest-clad mountains all round. There were about 
seven hundred or eight hundred people present, men, 
women, and children. The Rev. Dr. Mason, with 
several Karen Ministers and Teachers, occupied a central 
platform of bamboos, slightly raised above the ground. 
Around the platform, under the shade of a temporary 
shed of bamboo, were the Karens, seated according to 
their tribes and families, clad in their picturesque 
national dress, and with intelligence and deep interest 
in the objects for which they had met beaming in their 

" 10. The business of the meeting commenced with a 
hymn and with prayer, both in the Karen language. 
The Karens have naturally a taste for melody, and the 
soft sounds of their language are well adapted to vocal 
music. Several of the young Karen Ministers and 
Teachers successively addressed the assembly in earnest 
language, exhorting the people to make increased exer- 
tions to educate their children, to support religion, to 
procure Bibles, and to be careful of them when they had 
them. One read a paper containing a brief account of 
the illness and death of a brother pastor, who had lately 
died. Several of the chiefs also briefly addressed the 
meeting, exhorting the people. Finally, it was an- 
nounced that the Associated Churches had subscribed 
over five hundred rupees towards the support of the 
central schools at the town of Tounghoo, where both 


boys and girls are educated more highly than can be 
done in the village schools. They are trained as 
teachers for the other schools. 

" 11. It was a wonderful sight thus to behold in the 
midst of an assembly of tribes so lately savage, and with- 
out written language, the evidence of a people appreciat- 
ing the benefit of religion and of education, supporting 
pastors and schools, listening to speeches on social im- 
provement and religious duties, delivered by men of their 
own race in their own tongue, abandoning their evil 
habits and their cruel wars, and living as quiet, indus- 
trious mountaineers, anxious for improvement. I was 
surprised at the youth of some of the teachers, and 
more at the respect and attention shown them by many 
of the chiefs. This is the rather remarkable, as we 
might almost have looked for jealousy from the latter 
at their own influence being impaired. It is not so, 
however. Dr. Mason has found, as was to be expected, 
that young people were more readily impressed with new 
ideas than those advanced in life, and has employed 
young men as teachers, while their education ensures 
them respect and influence among both chiefs and 

"12. Though the people support their village teachers 
and schools, and will, and do, also support those youths 
who go to study at the Normal School in town, yet it is 
beyond their means to defray all the expenses of the 
latter institution. I was present at an examination of 
the Female Institute at Tounghoo, by Mrs. Mason. 
Fifty were present. They appeared to acquit them- 


selves creditably in geography, arithmetic, and other 
branches of knowledge. To show what a change educa- 
tion has wrought in the opinions of these people gene- 
rally, I may mention that, in the absence of regular 
teachers in the more remote villages, some of the chiefs 
have applied for young women from the Institute to 
instruct the children of their tribe. This fact, showing 
a disregard for their previous prejudices — for they here- 
tofore considered women only as useful drudges to 'the 
lords "t" creation' — evinces the wonderful change effected 
in their habits of thought. 

" l.'i. I have entered into these details of the pro- 
gress made among these tribes, in order to lay clearly 
before the Governor-General in Council my reasons for 
making application for further grants towards support- 
ing and extending education among them. On this 
subject I beg to annex copies of two letters to my 
address, one from Mrs. Mason, dated the loth of 
January, 1859, and one from the Rev. Dr. Mason, 
dated the 21st. Both ask for assistance for the Normal 
School for Karen young men, established at the town of 

" 14. Hitherto the Government has contributed as 
follows towards education among the mountain Karen 
tribes : two thousand rupees for the translation and 
printing of useful works in the Bghai and Manniepaga 
dialects, and fourteen hundred rupees for books, appa- 
ratus, &c, for the Karen Female Institute ; a grant of 
land at Tounghoo has also been made for erecting the 


" 15. With reference to the present application by 
Dr. and Mrs. Mason, I beg earnestly to recommend that 
the Honourable the President in Council will be pleased 
to sanction a grant toward the Young Men's Normal 
School, — a school which is to fulfil the important object 
of furnishing instructors to the various tribes scattered 
over the mountains. The great importance of aiding 
the Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Mason in affording these young 
men a liberal education, through whose agency these 
tribes may be raised from the depths of ignorance and 
barbarism to hold hereafter, it is hoped, a prominent 
place among Asiatic races, the great importance of 
aiding in this noble object, requires not a word from 
me to recommend it, I shall content myself, there- 
fore, with stating that many tribes still remain to be 
recovered from barbarism, and with recommending as 
follows : — 

• " 1st. That the sum of three thousand rupees be 
granted towards the building of a school-house for the 
Karen young men at Tounghoo. This school is pro- 
posed to be of brick, and one hundred pupils are to be 
educated therein. 

" 2nd. That I be authorized to procure for the said 
school the following instruments : — 

" 1. A telescope, on stand, of sufficient power to 
observe the eclipse of Jupiter's satellites. 

" 2. A sextant and artificial horizon. 

" 3. A pair of globes, one foot in diameter. 

" 4. A prismatic compass and chain, complete. 

" 5. A set of school maps. 



" I have not the means of making an estimate of the 
expense that will be incurred in procuring instruments, 
but I believe that twelve hundred rupees will be the 

" I have the honour to be, Sir, 

" Your most obedient servant, 

" A. P. Phayre. 
" February 3rd, 1859." 

I have felt very thankful to our Commissioner for 
writing this report, as it reaches a class of men who 
seldom or never read Missionary publications. 

Colonel Phayre, too, being Agent to the Gover- 
nor-General of India and for Her Majesty, can 
speak with a power which no other person can wield in 

It is a day or two before the Bghai Association. I 
am distressed and sad. I cannot go out to my husband 
— have no money to pay the workmen — the Chinaman 
is urgent for wages — doors and windows half done — I 
seek to the Lord : " Oh Lord, may I go to the Bghai 
mountains ? If it please thee that I go, do thou gra- 
ciously send me some money ; thou art the mighty God 
of Jacob." 

I begin to prepare some cake to take up to my 
husband, for I am sure I shall go. 

It is morning ; the door opens, and a servant enters. 

" A roll ma'am, from the General." He opens it out 
on the table, counts two hundred and fifty rupees, and 
hands a note. I read : — 

general bell. 291 

" My dear Mrs. Mason, 

" I am very sorry for your having to leave so unex- 
pectedly, as I have been planning to accompany you to 
the school on the other side of the river, but must hope 
for another meeting at some future time. Wishing you 
and Dr. Mason every blessing and success in your under- 
taking, with kindest regards, 

" Believe me, yours, very sincerely, 

" J. Bell. 

" P. S. The two hundred and fifty rupees I send to 
help on your work." 

General Bell was commander of the British forces in 
Burmah ; he has aided us to the amount of five hundred 
rupees, and has often cheered us with his kind notes. 
I regarded his help at this time as a special answer to 
prayer. " Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only 
doeth wondrous things!' 

It was about a month after the excursion to the Paku 
hills that I went up to the Bghai country, and wrote 
from thence to my dear friend, Miss Webb. 

" The vacation of my schools is now begun, and I am 
enjoying rest on the very tip-top of the loftiest Bghai 
mountains, writing on a divan of slender bamboos, raised 
five or six feet above the ground. A line of brown 
figures lies stretched on one side in their close Highland- 
looking blankets — a very tableau of mummies, Israel- 
itish enough to be brothers to the pyramid-builders. 
Above us stretches a dome of the purest blue, while the 
stars are looking right down into our faces. 

u 2 


" Among the bambooa around us, are eight or ten 
more Karens circling their camp fires ; aome with crim 
son turbans and dark bordered tonics, grasping their 
boar-tusked spears, with Long Mark Locks Btxeaming over 
their shoulders. The torch lights, dimmering through 


the feathery bamboos; make our pinnacle pavilion a 
perfect Aihambra. The moon is just rising from under 
the mountains, and sends up streams of silyer light ; 
there again they come, softening, Boothing, stealing 
around those dark shadowy forms, just as the light <>f 
truth is dow stealing around the darl their hea- 

then minds. From a dei p d the left is beard 

the cry of the peacock, which arouses the fear that tigers 
may be our near neighbours. Strange that these two 
inhabitants of the jungle Bhould have Buch an affinity 
for each other. 

•• Pour days ago, upon a Bister pinnai lay 

stretched before us one of the grandest views am 
mountain grandeurs, We had be< o travelling two 'lays, 
climbing ridge upon ridge and j"-ak upon peak, when 
suddenly a erj of joy burst from our bearers, Ta Opo, 
T I Ipo I' (the "1 All - ^claimed in one 

i. 'Where? fan you Bee the village?' ' Br, er,' 
X - the electrical reply Bhout lip to 

lip. clear over the mountains 

•• Truly it was a bewildering where beauties 

new ainl wild Beemed t" meet the eye at every angle. 

Just at our feet there opened out one of the wide Toung- 
hoo farms, extending over hill and dale, just felled and 
burned, ready for clearing. Th< strewed 


over every inch of ground, gave it the appearance of a 
ripened corn-field, and contrasted strongly with the 
lively verdure of the young foliage beyond, and this 
again came into bold relief against the dark green of 
the ancient forest, walled behind with purple pinnacles. 
On the left loomed Mount Gazeko, far above his brethren. 
He bears the reputation of having been conquered by a 
famous mountain on the south, when he had his head 
cleft asunder ; but now both repose in peace, surrounded 
by Christian settlements. 

" The cynosure of every eye was Mount Magadoo on 
our right, on the very summit of which could be distinctly 
seen a long colossal Tabernacle, which, being constructed 
of split bamboos, glistened in the sunlight as if its walls 
had been of brass, reminding one instantly, in its posi- 
tion — encircled by hills — and by its colour, of Jeru- 
salem's Temple. At our feet lay a narrow defile, the 
beginning of that path which, now winding tortuously 
across the glen, now around the base of the mountains, 
now lost in a gorge, and now re-appearing, winds up, 
up, up the long ascent to the Tabernacle. 

" It was perhaps four o'clock when we espied the 
scene of the great Convocation, and it was not until 
after four hours of hard travelling that we neared the 
place. We then found the path widened, and swept, 
and lined on either side with young men and old men, 
come to bear me on. The way was still over two 
mountains, and very steep, but the Bghai Christians 
would not for a moment leave their post. At length we 
reached the last peak, and found the path crowded with 


women and children, each of whom was determined to 
have a grasp of my hand. My pupils formed the fore- 
ground, and went before as a body-guard, compelling 
the crowd to file out right and left, while I walked 
up until the throng became so dense, that the chief 
of the village, fearing I should be smothered, came and 
carried me away over their heads to the chapel, where I 
took a stand on the steps, and shook hands with 
about two thousand Abrahams and Sarahs, Deborahs, 
and Dorcases, and their babies. 

" The next morning all assembled in the Tabernacle, 
which was one hundred and fifty feet long by seventy- 
five broad, built right over the crest of the mountain, 
which had been cut off one cubit in depth, to make 
a level space for the pulpit, that being placed in the 
centre, enclosed by a bamboo trellis, with a writing- 
desk on one side, and a preaching-desk on the other, 
around which were seated four ordained Karen preachers, 
and about one hundred young preachers and school- 
masters; my school-girls were arranged on the left 
hand. It was the annual session of the Bghai Christian 
Association, and one of the most interesting meetings 
I ever attended. Committees were formed, and reso- 
lutions passed, and speeches made, full of burning zeal, 


on the support of the District Schools, on the im- 
portance of holy living, on female education, and on 
brethren settling their own difficulties. 

" At the close of the last speech on the latter subject, 
every one rose and pledged himself not to go to war 


with his brother. Oh, the infinite power of the 
Gospel of Christ ! To see one thousand clear-eyed, 
high-browed, strong-armed men, who, from their child- 
hood, had hated each other, kidnapped and speared 
each other whenever they could, now exchanging the 
clasp of peace, and publicly pledging themselves to help 
and love their neighbours as themselves ! 

" When I looked over the dense mass of heads, and 
saw at least three-fourths in clean new tunics, jackets, 
and turbans, and the women, at least all the younger 
portion, well dressed, I felt that a great and mighty 
work had been done in the Bghai country since 1853. 
Truly the deaf have heard the words of the BOOK, and 
the eyes of the blind have seen out of obscurity ; they 
also that erred in spirit have come to understanding, and 
they that murmured have learned doctrine. 

" The letters read from the churches of this Asso- 
ciation showed that twenty- seven Bghai villages had 
come over to Christianity within the year, had built 
school-houses, supported schoolmasters, and established, 
in the place of their mythical Mosha, the worship 
of Jehovah : there are only forty-four heathen Bghai 
villages remaining. The Mopagas are all brought in 
except three villages, and ten new ones were numbered 
this last year with the Paku Christian communities. 

" At this assembly the chiefs and teachers enacted 
three rules, which ought to be on every church door, 
or, perhaps better, on every closet door. 

" 1st. That they will not marry heathen companions. 

" 2nd. That they will aid in supporting their teachers. 


" 3rd. That they xclll do all they can to enlighten the 

" The girls of the Institute were arranged along one 
side of the platform, tastefully dressed in their own 
costume, of their own manufacture ; and at the close 
of the convocation they all rose and sung in Karen 
that inspiring piece — 

1 Hark ! ten thousand harps and voices 
Sound the note of praise above : 
Jesus reigns and heaven rejoices ; 
Jesus reigns the God of love.' 

" The effect was perfectly inspiring, and as the strains 
of music floated away over the hills, and down the 
glens, we could hear it echoed back from the neighbour- 
bag pinnacles, as if choral voices were answering down 
from the heavenly plains/' 




It is the last day of the Association upon the Karen 
mountains. The moderator rises, and reads off fif- 
teen names of schoolmistresses now ready for service, 
and the congregation is informed that any who desire 
a schoolmistress can apply to the Karen Board of 
Managers at the close of the session. The girls pull 
their turbans over their faces in bashful modesty, as 
the eyes of the assembly fall admiringly on the seat 
beside me. The Association adjourns ; a score of chiefs 
crowd forward saying, — 

" Give us a schoolmistress. Give us a schoolmistress." 
Here is a report from the first Paku who went out, the 
principal head-teacher in the school. The chief who 
called her had been a notorious robber, and I felt afraid 
to let her go. 

" Teacheress, that chief will never become a Christian 
if she does not go. Our young men have been there, 
and no one can remain. If he gives his word, she 
is safe." 

This the chiefs all agreed in, and I left it entirely 
to her. Nau Tsah went, and God kept her, like 

298 the teacher's letter. 

Daniel in the lions' den. After some weeks she wrote 
back : — 

" My loved Teacheress, 

" As God has given me a place, I strive to do His 
work. After two days many left the school, and 
returned to their play and work. When the chief 
returned with the maps, I said, — 

" ' Chief, I came here to instruct your children. Put 
them into my hands.' 

" ' I did put them into your hands,' he replied, ' but 
they like to run about. They cannot sit still.' 

" ' Chief,' I answered, ' give them into my hands 
entirely, and if they do not learn, I will be responsible.' 
Then the chief said, — ' It shall be as you say.' So 
now there are twenty-nine learning very nicely, and 
nineteen are new ones who never learned before. This 
is God's power. Mama, I am a young girl : I have 
many fears lest I should not do well. I entreat that 
you will pray for me, that I may increase in wisdom and 

" Nau Tsah." 

Again she says, — 

" Everything you taught us I tell to the people here, 
to the women, and to the men also, if they ask me. I 
am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Just as you 
divided the classes and the time at the Institute, so I 
do here, and read the Scriptures in the presence of all ; 
but the young men on Sabbath did not come to worship. 
Then I sent and entreated, and they came, but I saw 


they had been asleep, so I said to them, — ' Brothers, is 
it good to sleep on God's holy day ? Ought we not to 
get strength for the soul from God's Word ? ' After 
this all came to study the Bible in the school-house. 

" Mama, dear, I am very happy. Pray that God's 
Spirit may help me." 

"When it was time for the next term at the Institute, 
the chief heard of it, and immediately placed a guard 
over my brave girl to keep her from leaving them ! 
Nau Tsah wrote to me that she could not get away, but 
that all were so good to her, it made her weep, because 
she was unworthy, and she knew God was there. 

Finally, I had to send to the chief that if he did so, 
the managers would not dare let him have another 
schoolmistress. So he gave in, and, coming up to 
Nau Tsah, he said, — " Teacheress, my people all love 
you. Promise me you will go to no other village." She 
promised ; then he appointed an escort to attend her 
down, and as he bade her good by — 

" Here, teacheress," he said, " here is a rupee, an 
umbrella, and a dress. Don't forget us." 

Nau Tsah burst into tears on telling me of it. 
"Why," she said, "mama, God is too good to me : I 
did'nt expect anything." All had gone out freely ? 
asking nothing, expecting nothing, but feeling amply 
paid in having the privilege of working, as they ex- 
pressed it, in God's vineyard. Their mothers, too, 
noble sister spirits, toiled day and night to spin and 
weave their dresses, while they were teaching gra- 


tuitously, because they felt they were doing it for 
Christ. Surely for the sake of this work of love God 
will establish this school. 

The girls had made it a subject of prayer with me for 
the whole year that God would open the hearts of the 
chiefs to receive their services. Then all doors opened 
at once, through the mountain region, at every point of 
the compass, as if Jehovah had spoken : " Behold, and 
see if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour 
you out a blessing!" "I say unto you, All things 
whatsoever ye_ shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall 

" Mama," said a preacher's wife very eagerly, during 
this Bghai Association, " shall not Nau Meu go to our 
village ? I am so anxious to learn of her. Do compel 
her to go." 

" What shall I do ?" said Nau Meu, in a low tone, as 
soon as she could speak to me alone. " They call me 
five ways." 

"Don't you know who can tell you, Nau Meu V* 

" Oh, yes, yes," she replied, and ' was soon out of 
sight. The result showed with what spirit she left the 
altar. Many villages had called her where she could 
have had every comfort, but she turned from all to a 
most filthy, repelling-looking people, in a Bghai village, 
where she knew she must deny herself betel-nut, to them 
a very great sacrifice, and many things to which she was 
accustomed, and which it would be hard to do without. 
The following are her letters to Mrs. Dalton, of Edinburgh, 
and myself, from the jungles, translated literally : — 

NAU MEU. 301 

" Dear Friends who love the Karens, 

" I, Nau Meu, one of the girl teachers, wish to say a 

"I am now teaching in the Bghai country. I have 
seventy pupils, and they are trying very hard to learn. 
I can now speak their language, for which I thank God 
exceedingly. They are all very kind to me, and I entreat 
you will pray for me, that I may do them good. 

"Nau Meu." 

The result was most satisfactory and cheering. The 
chief soon came down with ten rupees for the school, for 
which he had never given anything before. He came 
with his men also, and cleared his portion of the ground, 
the first and best of any village in the mountains. His 
people, too, began to come in more tidy ; and when I 
asked after Nau Meu, their eyes always glistened with 

The result was what it often is in Christian lands : 
Nau Meu soon had an offer of marriage from the 
cleverest young man of the place, and the whole village 
beset her to accept it ! 

The following is from the same teacher to Mrs. 
Dalton : — 

"Dear Mama, 

" I long greatly that God's kingdom may increase. I 
will tell you a word of my country. It is now four 
years since we first heard of the Eternal God, and 
eighty-eight have become disciples in my village. When 


we were in the hands of Satan, my elder brother had the 
small-pox, and my uncle caught it of him, and another 
person caught it of my uncle. This person then kid- 
napped my uncle, as all the Karens used to do if they 
caught a disease of any one. Then my uncle caused 
persons to waylay my brother, and catch him, and 
would have sold him to the Burmese, but my poor 
mother wept continually, and at last borrowed money 
enough to buy him back. She gave two gongs which 
cost sixty rupees each, and a large one which cost two 
hundred and fifty rupees. 

" When my uncle became a disciple, he gave back the 
large gong to my brother. My wicked uncle has 
changed. He has built a house on the Girls' Place, 
and we love each other much. The Tounghoo people, 
who are not disciples, do after this manner continually, 
and are very wicked. Now the school is dismissed that 
we may all reap paddy, but all of us love the school 
with a great love." 

The following, in Karen, was sent in by the school- 
mistresses of the Institute without any suggestion from 
me, with a handsome suit of Karen clothes, asking if 
they might give them to Captain D'Oyly when he was 
leaving for Prome. It is translated literally : — 

" To the Great Commissioner whom God Blesses. 
" Dear Sir, 

" Since you ruled over Tounghoo, it has pleased 
you to help us poor Karen people, so that we rejoiced 


greatly under your rule, and now, when we hear you are 
going to another country, we feel that our hearts will go 
after you exceedingly, even as the deer thirsts for the 

" We pray that the great King of Heaven may bless 
you during life, even as He blessed Mordecai and Queen 
Esther. For this reason, we, poor people, before we 
received the Eternal God's commands, knew nothing at 
all of books. Now the English Commissioners have 
come to Tounghoo, and a place has risen for us to 
study in. 

" This is God's great mercy, and we rejoice and praise 
Him, and the name of Jesus Christ, continually." 

I might tell many stories about the Mighty Hand 
in the mountains, but I will stop for only one more. 
One day a Bghai chief, who had not been baptized, 
came down almost in a rage to know what had become 
of his teacher. He had opened his village to books only 
about three months before. 

" Mama, has my teacher gone with teacher Mason V 
he asked, with some appearance of impatience. 

" Yes, brother, he has gone on a tour to the red 
Karens, but he will be back, we hope, in two months." 

" Two months ! I must have another." 

" Suppose you take one of the girls, chief ? " I sug- 

"A girl" he repeated, towering up in scorn, and I 
could see every lip of his attendants curled with disdain. 

" Oh, never mind," I answered, gently. " If you 

304 i'll have her. 

don't like, you needn't have one, but just come in and 
hear them recite." Out of politeness, merely, he and 
his men entered the school-room. I called up the prin- 
cipal Bghai mistress to examine the school, briefly, in 
reading Bs-hai, in the Bible, in arithmetic, and geogra- 
phy. She was going over the large outline maps, and 
the school intensely interested, when the chief rose and 
walked along in a bending posture to the front of the 
platform, followed by his men. All sat down in pro- 
found respect, but very soon their eyes began to peer 
open, as if they would roll out ; their hands fell down, 
their mouths opened, and there they sat, their heads 
stretched far forward. Finally, the chief said in a low 
tone, — 

"I'll have that one — that one," pointing to the 
mistress who was questioning the others. 

"Er, er," all his men joined in. "We'll have that 
one." Nan Lanui hid her face for shame, and the whole 
school was on tiptoe. After some persuasion, Nau 
Lanui ventured to go with them, and then came the real 
triumph of knowledge, for every one of those young men 
stepped forward, offering to carry something. One took 
her slate, another her hymn-book, and even one grasped 
her little basket of clothes, a thing those men could 
not before have been hired to do, for with them nothing 
is so defiling as to touch a woman's dress, and nothing 
so degrading as to carry burdens for her. 

However, all forgot these prejudices in their delight, 
and hope of acquiring wisdom. The girls vied with one 
another in helping them off ; for, as we did not like one 


to go alone, they offered to support two, and two went 
with them the same day fifteen or twenty miles into the 
mountains, which is as much as a hundred in a country 
of roads and carriages. On the way they met another 
troop on a similar errand. 

" We've got the best teacher there," the men called 

" Then she shall go with us," the others retorted, and 
they came near, bearing her off in spite of them. 

" Let her alone ! Go to the school and get another. 
Haven't you got feet?" shouted the men with their 
prize, and pushed on. 

The adventure proved an entire success, and this girl 
has ever since been regarded as a kind of sybil or oracle 
among the tribe. 

The plan of the school in Tounghoo was an experi- 
ment, but no experiment ever succeeded more perfectly, 
for it has united these wild clans under one banner, and 
awakened a spirit of enterprise and energy, such as 
they never before felt or knew. The Karen Education 
Society at first numbered only sixty chiefs, but it has 
increased to two hundred and sixty, and thus far they 
have been more than faithful to their promise. Since 
the school was opened in 1857, the chiefs have contri- 
buted 10,000 rupees. 

In Burmah, no appeal to self-interest will move to 
action, if it touches the native sense of honour. The 
poorest Burman will walk off and forego his supper 
rather than endure a single word wounding to his self- 
respect. So with Karens. You appeal in vain to their 


sense of fear or love of gain. Say to them, — " If you do 
not thus, the Commissioner will not help you," and they 
would look down from their soul-pinnacles with unut 
terable contempt. But just say, " God expects this of 
Karens," or, "Your brothers are watching your feet," and 
you touch a chord that will vibrate through every glen 
of Tounghoo. Therefore, in proposing a school to the 
Mountain Chiefs of the land, I appealed to this innate 
self-respect — simply telling them they would have the 
honour before all the surrounding nations of educating 
their women like the greatest nation in the world, and 
they should have the honour of doing it themselves in 
institutions of their own, and under managers of their 
own, only Government would help them to begin ; and 
above all it would please YUAH. 

And now this Karen Female Institute will be che- 
rished as the Delphi of their tribe-, to which they will 
continually resort, and from which they cannot return 
witlmut carrying to their mountain homes some glim- 
merings from the light of science, and a clearer know- 
ledge of the Time God. 





I knew it would be in vain to build a school-house, 
unless the Karens would some of them live near enough 
to protect it, for the heathen would carry off every board, 
one by one. Besides, a girls school could not be main- 
tained without protectors, and these must be Karen 
protectors. Karens could not live there without support, 
and they could not find support without land. To 
settle only two or three families around us would be 
useless. So I applied to Government for a tract of 
land on which experiments might be made, a tract large 
enough for all the tribes near Tounghoo. 

There were other good reasons for trying to bring the 
Karens down to the plains. Their mode of cultivating 
the hill land, as described in Colonel Phayre's letter, 
leads them to be always migrating, so that it is very 
difficult to keep up their mountain schools with any 
regularity ; the same cause keeps them poor, and renders 
it exceedingly difficult to support their families and 
teachers. They have nothing against times of distress, 
so that if there comes a drought, or if armies of rats 
destroy their rice-fields, numbers die of starvation. 


Considering all this, Mr. Mason thought no one could 
do a greater good to the tribes in Tounghoo, than help 
them to begin lowland paddy cultivation. 

The Karens want instruction. Their forests abouDd 
in valuables, but they know not how to make them 
available. In the first place, they want good rice land on 
the plains, and to be taught the cultivation of cotton. 

Colonel Phayre once sent the South American cotton 
seed to experiment with in Tounghoo. I left before 
hearing the full result of that experiment, but I heard 
that planted around the schools, on rich soil, it grew too 
luxuriously, and yielded only a small basket, but what 
there was of it had long silken fibres, and the seeds fell 
out at once, to the great delight and amazement of the 
Karens. I imagine that soil was too rich, as it went 
mostly to leaves, and on the sand hills it seemed to lack 
nourishment, but probably if the forest were cleared half 
a mile inland, cotton would grow well in Tounghoo. 
The Karens would enter into its cultivation, I think, 
with spirit, and this would encourage the rice cultivators. 
But they would need to have instruction at first in adapt- 
ing the soils, in seeking out suitable localities, and to 
have a machine for cleaning the cotton. Secondly, they 
require instruction in working iron and lead. They 
have both in Tounghoo, and loadstone. They would soon 
learn to make plows and other agricultural implements 
for themselves, axes, and carpenter's tools 

They need instruction in preparing leather and mak- 
ing good strong shoes, which their people would buy all 
over the hills. Pegged shoes, if introduced, might be 


the means of raising up large villages in the mountains, 
for the manufacture of pegs alone, as I have seen in 
New Hampshire. 

Their buffalo and cow hides, deer and goat skins, 
might then be of use to them. Preparing leather would 
bring them to work their limestone, and their rock salt, 
which is also found in the hills of Tounghoo. Valuable 
barks, nuts, oils, and catechu trees, abound likewise, 
and careya, and mangrove trees, on the coast would 
supply tannic acid. 

They need masters in wood-work of all kinds ; their 
mountains abound in beautiful woods, and they might 
learn to make wooden wares for themselves, instead of 
using bamboo troughs. Their red wood is almost equal 
to mahogany, the hopea, and a kind of turminalia, which 
they call "bitter wood," because the teredos will not eat 
it, might be very useful for drawers and chests. They 
have sassafras, too, and ebony is so abundant, they make 
their great pestles, six feet long, of it. They have 
matchlock-wood and lance wood, and a soft white wood 
that might answer instead of pine. Wicker-work they 
would excel in, and the ratans wreathe their gorges all 
through the mountains. I have seen them thirty feet 
in length. Their forests, too, abound in cordage plants, 
and they already understand a curious kind of rope- 
braiding in Tounghoo, that far excels that made by any 
of the other tribes, and they braid thatch in a very 
superior style, which lasts twice as long as Burman 

If they could have instruction from a practical bota- 


nist, their forests would yield medicinal plants largely 
for export. They have abundance of gamboge liquid 
amber, the camphor plant, (Bluinea.) a kind of native 
cinnamon, ipecacuanha, manna, clove, cassia hark, citron, 
bhang, nux vomica, castor-oil, cutch, turmeric, betel- 
Leaf, leea, sessamum, cardamom, ivy, sarsaparilla, heart- 
seek, garlic, and gum-arabic — not the true, hut the gum 
of the cashes tree, which is quite as good. The true arrow- 
root, (Maranta,) ah", is beginning to be cultivated, and 
might be to any • • x r t ■ 1 1 1 . They have a pine from which 
tar and pitch mighl be manufactured in abundance, and 
the wood oil, I am rare, might be put to some economic 
purpose, besides supplying torcl 

They have the best of dye-plants, the cashew, mela 
stoma, shoe flower, ebon} . and phj sic-nnt, for black dye ; 
ruellia and asclepias, for blue; sappan, tamarind, mo- 
rinda, log-wood, for red; safflower, gamboge, butea, 
turmeric, and jack, for yellow; and they make a line 
green with turmeric and soap acacia. They have foni 
or five indigenous trees producing excellent varnish, but 
all goes to waste. 

(If you ask how I know these things are there, I 
answer, my husband says bo, and he's my Cyclopedia, 
See his book on " Btrmaii." Phinney, Blakeman, & 
Mason, New York.) 

To redeem these riches of earth, or to elevate the 
Karens, it needs the help of Government, and the help 
o\' philanthropists. Especially are these aids and en- 
couragements needed for the women of these nations, 
for does not woman educate the farmer, the soldier, the 


teacher, and the Legislature ? When the Prince of Wales 
was in New York, I presented the subject to him, parti- 
cularly in regard to Female Education in India, taking 
the opportunity to give some particulars, through Colonel 
Bruce, concerning the Karens, and the Girls' School in 
Tounghoo. The Prince answered very kindly, and I 
hope may not wholly forget either the school, or those 
who have so kindly aided us. 

An application being made for land to the Duputy 
Commissioner of Toun«;hoo, he wrote back the following 
note, in the latter part of 1857 : — 

" My dear Mrs. Mason, 

" If your mountain friends will only clear the land 
and cultivate it, I will give them as much as their 
hearts desire. 

" George D'Oyly." 

Captain D'Oyly gave orders that the Burman Thugyee 
should accompany me and the Karen chiefs, to select 
the land, and that he should give them good fields in 
the vicinity of the Institution, and on the strength of 
this we started together. 

Fancy us mounted on two great elephants — I on one, 
and the Burman head-man on the other, each of us 
with a score of followers. The Nah Khan and several 
Karen chiefs are of the party, and two of our best assist- 
ants are behind. 

On we go, over logs and bogs — now on a wide open 
prairie, the sun burning into our very brains, and anon 


the elephant sinks up to his body in a broad marsh, 
sinks, sinks, so fearfully, that our hair almost stands on 
end, lest we should never again emerge. 

" There, Thugyee, there 's a nice field. It stretches 
up a long way, too." 

" Yes, but this I gave yesterday to a couple of Bur- 

We wander — farther and farther. 

"Come, Thugyee. Here are fields." 

" But the Burmese yonder, pointing half a mile off, 
will want this to enlarge their fields." 

" And this '." Cumin- to another tract of wild land 
that might have been cultivated thirty years before. 

" Oh, this is grass land. I couldn't give this to the 

"Karens want grass land as well as Burmese, and 
the Commissioner said that you must give them good 

So we travel, two whole days, over an area of nearly 
fifty miles, always receiving the same answers. At last 
I stopped short. 

" Thugyee, listen ! The Commissioner ordered you 
to give the Karens land — good land — and near the 
school. We've travelled long enough. Give us the 

Upon this the Thugyee rode off hastily to a long 
jungle skirting the river. 

"There," he says, "take this." 

" This ! " the Karens exclaimed in dismay. " We 
can never clear off these great trees. It will be useless. 


Why cannot he give us grass land as he does the 
Burmese V 

" Wait brothers, be patient — see what rich soil. Look 
at those paddy stalks as large as your little fingers," 
pointing to the fields adjoining. " Let us get this if we 
can, for he does not mean to give you anything." Then 
turning to the Burman, — 

" We can have this, you say ; but then we must have 
the whole jungle, as far as we choose." 

" Yes, except where the Burmese have commenced 

There were many obstacles to the cultivation of this 
tract, which were almost insurmountable to the Karens. 
The strip of good land was very narrow, the trees thick 
and large, the Burmese fields close adjoining, and there 
was a public road running through all. 

We could only persuade fourteen men to attempt the 
business the first year. They succeeded in clearing and 
planting each a pretty good piece of land, and with great 
pride they watched it. One morning, when the rice was 
about two feet high, they all came running down to me 
with fear and wretchedness depicted on every face. 

"What is the matter?" I inquired. 

" Gone ! gone !" 

"What is gone V 

" The paddy. The Burman bufFalos have destroyed 
the whole." 

" How did it happen ? Had you not good fences ?" 

" Yes, we had fenced every lot carefully ; they must 
have been turned in." None but those who have £one 


through what we have in securing land — in persuading 
wild men to make an attempt at civilization, and in 
supporting them while doing it — can understand our 
grief on that morning. The men went to the Thugyee 
for redress. 

" You must catch the buffalos," he told them. So 
they watched day and night, and at last succeeded in 
catching two. They received for all their loss five 
rupees ! 

Upon this they were utterly discouraged, and all but 
two returned to the jungles. 

So the matter rested for several months, when the 
Thugyee came to me to know if the Karens were going 
to cultivate that land any more. " The Karens cannot 
cultivate lowland," he said ; " the Burmese can, and it 
must not lie waste." 

"We told him the land would be occupied, when he 
left with a very dark brow. 

I called the Karen women and explained to them how 
fruitless all my efforts for a permanent school would 
prove without proteet'>rs, and endeavoured to arouse 
their philanthrophy and love for Christ's kingdom. It 
was not, however, until after several days of prayer and 
exhortation that they could be persuaded to go up and 
live in the rice fields. Finally, six families volunteered, 
and I engaged to advance them rice for six months. To 
cheer and strengthen them I went up every week, helped 
them to plan the little settlement, and encouraged them 
to persevere. The first week on my reaching the camp, 
they all came out and grasped my hand with tears, so 


like my own children had they become. I found them 
all huddled into one circular hut, built of brush and 
reeds, and a little bedroom for the night-guard in the 
top of a tree. 

The second week they gave me a happy surprise and 
led me up into a neat little chapel, where a boy teacher, 
about fourteen, sat by a pretty bamboo table, surrounded 
by twenty little children in school, learning to read. 

The Commissioner had liberally invited the Karens 
down to the plains, promising them land and protection. 
This had greatly encouraged the chiefs, and they mus- 
tered several new families for the work. How should 
they get buffalos was the next question, and two or 
three resolved to sell their fruit gardens. I was one day 
speaking of their great want to Colonel Phayre, when 
he said, — 

" I '11 make them a loan for buffalos." 

"You will?" I asked in surprise. "Are you in 
earnest ? Would you dare to trust them ?" 

" I will," he answered with a quiet smile, and to our 
great joy ordered the loans, sending this kind note to 
Mr. Mason : — 

" I request you will have the goodness to inform the 
Karens, to whom this advance is made, that I do not 
name any particular time for repayment of this advance, 
but that I expect them to repay when, with ordinary 
exertion, they can do so. They have my best wishes." 

This, too, we recognised as a special answer to prayer, 
for which we thanked God and took courage. 




" Halloo ! there, you Karen dog. Pay me half a 
rupee ! " 

Seeing the women and children running, I inquired 
what had happened, but before they could answer, a 
stout, hard-looking Burman came leading a Karen up to 
the chapel, declaring he would take him to court. On 
inquiring I found one of the new settlers had stepped 
into a pond, and with hi.s axe had caught two fishes for 
his supper. The pond had been rented by the Burman, 
and there was no way but to pay the fine, which I did, 
for the offender was very poor and hungry. 

On the east side of the Sittang river there are fifteen 
or more large ponds full of fish. These are annually 
rented out by the Government, and bring in a little 
revenue. But the poor always suffered on account of 
the heavy fees demanded by these pond-holders. 

One time when I was in the jungles, a villager com- 
plained to me, and begged me to intercede for him. 
They had made a small trap by the shore, trying to get 
a few fish for their suppers. The goung came round, 


ordered it to be destroyed, abused the poor man, and 
imposed a fine, which forced him to sell his pig to pay. 
All this was contrary to Government rules, for Colonel 
Phayre, on purpose to protect the poor, had made a pro- 
vision, that no river or creek should be taxed at all, or 
hand-nets anywhere, or any kind of small traps. More- 
over, the ponds were to be rented to the settlers around 
them. But this was all Greek to Captain Rock, then 
Deputy Assistant in charge; consequently, I sent up the 
following petition : — 

" As the present monopoly of one man over all the 
ponds in Kannee makes it exceedingly hard for the 
Karens here to procure any fish for daily use, I would 
beg the privilege of taking one pond for them in the 
immediate vicinity of the Karen paddy field, during this 
present year." 

The answer was contrary to the printed law before 
him, — that Government could recognise but one pond- 
owner in that region. 

" Apply for the whole," says Mr. Mason, which I did 
at once, for two hundred rupees, the same as the Bur- 
mese had paid. No excuse could be found for refusing, 
so I took them for one year. This caused universal joy 
among the poor of all classes : great numbers were 
about to enter into the fish trade, when the cholera 
scattered them. I had intended to let the Burmans 
have one-half, but I sold thirteen ponds to the Burmese 
for just what I gave, reserving two of the best free for 


the Karens and other friendless persons. So the Karens, 
Shans, and poor Burmese, were liberated from then- 
oppressors, and supplied with fish in abundance for tin- 
taking. The ponds and the buffalos had a most happy 
effect, and many now came down to join the colony, 
until my hands were doubly full. 

" Mama, will you buy me a pair of buffalos V " And 
me ?" " And me ?" came from twenty at once. 

But who was competent to buy, was the perplexing 
question. The Karens were no judges of buffalos — the 
Burmese would either cheat or rob them. Just at this 
time a Shan was introduced to our camp, an old herds- 
man. So he was sent out with the bravest Karen there, 
to make the purchase of one pair of buffalos and a cart. 
On returning, the Karen only came to me with the 
change. At that moment the Shan made a motion 
behind the Karen, indicating that all was not right, but 
on questioning, I could obtain no satisfaction. Imme- 
diately I called two Karens, and sent secretly to inquire 
the sum for which the buffalos had been sold. My 
messengers had ten miles to walk ; but I felt sure there 
was dishonesty, and as we had many buffalos to buy, it 
was an important matter. The Paku member of our 
Board also came to my aid, and so cross-questioned the 
two during the night, that he drew forth a confession, 
and early next morning sent Thatug to me with ten 
rupees more. 

The thief came on his knees begging forgiveness, and 
promising solemnly to steal no more. We forgave him, 
but his history was a sad one. 

THATUG. -321 

His place flourished above all others. He was far 
more industrious, and kept his garden in better order, 
and was always ready to help anywhere and everywhere ; 
besides, he was so fearless, he was really a great acquisi- 
tion to our new settlement. But one day I was called 
to see his wife, who lay nearly senseless, the blood 
streaming down her face. He had struck her with a 
club, and nearly killed her, then fled to the woods. Upon 
this I learned that he was a murderer, feared by all. He 
had speared a man in his rage, and had sold one wife 
to the Red Karens, and whether she was living or dead 
no one knew. I immediately gave notice to the Acting 
Commissioner, who sent his peons, and cast him into 
prison. Some thought it served him right ; others beheld 
with trembling a brother of the church in gaol ; and, 
altogether, I scarcely knew what to do. It was true he 
had sold his wife and killed a neighbour, but then it was 
before he heard God's commands. Others in the church 
had been either robbers or kidnappers. If God and the 
church had forgiven him, those things ought not to 
influence in this case. These thoughts, with his humble 
pleading, troubled me not a little, for he made no plea, 
only, " Lord, I am a great sinner ; I have an awful 
temper; I cannot govern it : it will send me to hell. Oh, 
God ! oh, God ! " 

"Who maketh thee to differ?" whispered a still, 
small voice within. Mr. Mason was in the hills, but I 
could not rest ; so I sent to the gaol the same night, 
paid his fine of fifteen rupees, and set him at liberty. 
He came to me directly, fell upon his face, and implored 


322 THATUG. 

me not to send him off from the place. We took his 
garden for the fine, and gave him five rupees, with a 
new piece of land outside the school lot, to begin anew. 
But one morning the neighbours came leading Thatug 
again. They had suspected him, had set a watch, and 
caught him stealing young trees and plantains from his 
old garden. So then it was the general voice that he 
must be expelled ; and he was, on condition, however, 
that if he conducted himself well for one year, he should 
again be restored. For a time he tried and did pretty 
well, but before six months were gone, he was caught 
again stealing a goat in the night, which he carried to a 
poor man, and they killed and ate it together. So he 
was brought down once more, led by a cord around his 
body, and the man who ate with him was brought as a 

"Do you not know the partaker is as bad as the 
thief?" I asked. 

" No, we never heard of such a law." 
" Well, if they take him up to court, he would just 
witness himself into gaol with Thatug, and I don't see 
why he should not be there too." 

" No, no," they cried, " he is not a bad man, and 
never did anything of the kind before. He shall not go 
up at all." The case ended in giving Thatug six 
months of hard labour on the roads ; yet, strange as it 
may seem, I believe this man will be found at last with 
the forgiven thief in paradise ! He has gone back now 
to the new settlement a changed man, and will yet, I 
have no doubt, be one of the most upright and faithful. 


I assure you, reader, we do not know the strength of 
temptation till we encounter it under the same circum- 
stances with our brothers. 

I had another hard thing to meet in those days. 
Nah Khan Qualay, the man who had been first to take 
up the work and help it forward, on whom I relied more 
than upon all the other chiefs together, came, when we 
were assembled, dressed in sackcloth, standing under the 
house pleading for forgiveness. In amazement, I in- 
quired what that meant, when he confessed that he had 
two wives ! It appeared that his real wife was very 
sickly, and that she had no children. He saw a pretty 
slave girl and bought her, provided for her and all her 
family at a distance from his home, and had joined the 
church without letting this fact be known. Some did 
know of it, but it is a rule with Karens not to inform. 
He had been a member of the church three years, and 
all this time had been transgressing the law of God. 

Seldom did I ever suffer such mental distress as then. 
For three days I could only groan. The slave wife had 
now a little son, and, of course, the truth must be told, 
so that all confidence in the man's integrity vanished 
like the dew. The report spread far and wide over the 
hills, and hundreds came down to see the humility of 
the greatest Khan in the jungles. Qualay sat on the 
ground in soiled garments, the very picture of despair, 
confessing to every one, and begging forgiveness of every 
one, offering, too, to put away the young wife, and never 
look on his boy again. 

I could not help pitying the culprit, whose great 

y 2 


desire was to have an heir to his title and his property. 
Still such deception and transgression could not be 
lightly passed by. He had built himself a handsome 
house on the girls' place, so as to hear petty causes 
there, which would have been a convenience to the Bghai 
tribes, and have tended to bring the heathen Karens 
around us where they could hear of God, and see the 
schools. I was hoping for great good from this arrange- 
ment ; but this sudden disclosure dashed all our plans, 
and crushed all our hopes. 

Mr. Mason and San Quala both agreed that he must 
be excluded from the church, and then came the ques- 
tion, Could he have a court-house on the school land ? I 
referred the case to the settlers, and told them they 
must decide the matter, simply exhorting them to do it 
in the fear of God. Their decision was, that his house 
must be pulled down and removed from the school land, 
and that he should no more visit the place until restored 
to the church. I had not quite expected this, and for 
a week my strength left me. It seemed to me impos- 
sible to go on in our arduous work without the aid of 
this chieftain. 

The Board of Managers all felt so too, and had every- 
thing at stake, but the law of God glittered above their 
heads like a two-edged sword, and they dared not shield 
the Chief. He is the greatest man, they said. Every 
eye is on us. Nobody believes we shall dare speak out. 
Finally, I suggested that we call the Nah Khan, and 
let him judge himself. We did so in the presence of all 
the Board of Managers and the principal chiefs. We 


laid the whole case before him, the injury he had done 
the cause, the unhappy influence on the minds of all the 
tribes coming and going, and cast the whole burden of 
deciding the matter upon his own conscience. Then 
appeared the true Christian shining out over all his 

" I have laid a stone of stumbling," he said ; " I will 
do all I can to remove it." This was his answer, 
coming up from under the floor, for he utterly refused 
to enter the chapel while the stain was upon him. 
Immediately that man went to work with his own hands, 
solitary and alone ; he took off the boards and the roof 
from his house, the big tears dropping over all, which 
so excited the commisseration of the crowd, that they 
all stepped back in awe, except the principal chiefs, 
who, with great deference, offered their aid. When they 
got to the posts, the crowd was called, and in a few 
hours the beautiful house that had cost months of 
labour, and was a great ornament to our grounds, was 
gone, and the Nah Khan, who had been as my brother, 
had gone too. 

Here, again, were visible the footsteps of the Almighty, 
for instead of the people fainting, as I had feared, they 
were ten times stronger than ever before, so that the 
wildest Bghais came pouring down, having confidence 
in the law of God. Singular, too, it was, a short time 
after this, a large teak monastery, south of our school, 
was burned down, and the lighted thatch falling on it, a 
small house just below where this had stood was burned. 
Had that building been there then, probably nothing 


could have saved the Institute, as the south wind 
blows very strong. Truly, God is Almighty. I feel 
happy to say the Nah Khan kept his promise, never 
visited his boy, and only once or twice had it brought 
to him. After two years of exclusion, he was restored 
to the church, and now, having buried his poor invalid 
wife, he has been lawfully married to the mother of his 
boy. But I fear that boy will be to him an Absalom. 

The next attempt at purchasing buffalos ended in 
buying a sick one that died in two "lays, and another 
old one that "would not draw." But perseverance ! 
nobody can tell what that will do! After a while the 
Karens learned to trade better, and every day the buf- 
falo regiment had to be paraded up before the Institute, 
and I was obliged to go out and review it. What con- 
stituted a good buffalo I had not the slightest idea, 
except that it ought to have sound hoofs, a clean tongue, 
and ears that "would stand." This I learned as they 
did, by the sick one being minus all these good qualities. 
Practice, 1 io\\ ever, makes perfect, BO we persevered in 
the study of buffalos till we all learned that long horns 
were obstinates, big bones would not fatten, and very 
small hoofs would break and run. In the end, the Bur- 
mese acknowledged the Karen buffalo herd to be the 
handsomest and best of all in the region. We had the 
same experience with carts. At first the Karens were 
sure to come home with some broken-backed cart, which 
the Burmese had put off to them for twelve rupees, 
while they might have bought a new one for sixteen. 
I did not tell them they had been deceived. There 's 


nothing like learning one's self. I advised thern to go 
immediately and get a load of paddy. They went off 
in high spirits, but coming home, over went the whole 
load upon the ground in the middle of a broad prairie. 
There were only two men. One had to go five miles 
for a new axletree, and as soon as he was gone, the crows 
and vultures pounced down upon the load, and, in spite 
of the carman, appropriated a good share of it to them- 
selves. " Amai ! this old rickety cart wasn't worth 
two rupees," I heard them telling the others on their 
return. They never mentioned it to me, they were so 
much ashamed. Ever after they took care to buy good 

Rice is the staple food of this place instead of bread. 
The Karens have no money to lay up in advance, and 
they were quite at the mercy of the traders in the rains. 
I resolved to build a store-house, and store for them one 
thousand bushels of paddy ; then they could buy of me 
at cost price when the paddy rose ; for the Burmese 
raised the price from thirty to seventy rupees the hun- 
dred baskets, or from four annas to a rupee the bushel 
for unbeaten rice. The Burmese traders were shrewd 
enough to see what I was doing, so they kept up the 
price, and I had to pay forty-five and fifty rupees the 
hundred, and in the same proportion the Karens had to 
pay for all eatables. 

Their ploughs, yokes, everything indeed, I was obliged 
to look after. These obtained, I must then go up and 
divide the land, and this was the hardest of all. No 
new cultivator would raise his axe till I apportioned off 


his lot. It was of no use for me at first to delegate this 
business to another. Mama must say herself what 
should be theirs. So I submitted, knowing they would 
after awhile learn to trust the assistant, who always 
accompanied me, which they now do ; but for many 
weeks at first I had to go out twice and three times the 
week nearly the whole length of the land, five miles in 
extent, dividing off their lots to arrange for their school- 
houses, and their dwellings ; to prescribe for their sick, 
to cheer them on, and instruct them in the Scriptures. 
Their Bible studies they missed more than anything 
else. They had been for more than a year constant 
attendants at our Bible class, and were so deeply inte- 
rested, they could repeat a great deal by heart, and I 
never visited them without a Bible meeting ; but these 
field labours were really much harder than all my teach- 
ing in the house, although there I had no help except 
natives and our own boys. 

One day, on returning, I was met by the girls, saying 
my little Frank was sick. Without a moment's delay 
I hastened to him. This was on Monday. On Wed- 
nesday evening, I had no little Frank in this world. 
When I saw he must die, I bent down and told him 
the worst, just as I had always done when giving them 
medicine. " You are going to Jesus, darling," I said : 
" you are not afraid to go ? " He looked up, at first 
startled, but instantly signified that he was not afraid, 
and that look was so loving in the midst of his agony. 

The dear brothers were parted — our little circle broken, 
and so suddenly — so unexpectedly — by a death so in- 


expressibly painful, I had scarcely strength to lay him 
in the grave. His papa was in the hills, and could not 
reach us, so I buried him alone, with our kind friend, 
Captain Bond, and the Karens. I heard a Minister 
once remark in the pulpit : " Some people under bereave- 
ment go about their business, and you scarcely see any 
difference, while others are entirely overcome. This 
is owing- to finer and more acute feelings in the one than 
the other." So a lady once said to me when my heart 
was breaking, — " Why, you look just as usual!" I 
think the Master Himself taught us on this subject. 
He bore about with Him the heaviest bereavement, and 
yet worked on with cheerfulness. 

My angel boy was a dear little missionary, and taught 
a Sunday-school of little Karen orphans for two years 
before he died. The children and girls of the school 
were inconsolable. 

He was a great reader ; he had laid by story books at 
my request, and taken to graver studies. He was well 
acquainted with Humboldt and Layard, and Buchanan, 
and the Pilgrim's Progress was his daily companion. 

The stroke was indeed heavy, and tears were my 
nightly companions, yet I trust tears of submission. 
His own mother died when he was only three months 
old, and kind Mrs. Bennett, now of Maulmain, became 
a dear and tender mother to him, until I went and 
claimed him, which was before he could walk much. 
There were only three months' difference between him 
and my own little boy, so they were like twins, and 
until the last week of his life, my pet lambs would jump 

330 love's discipline. 

into my arms at once. His name was Francis, but 
when lie came to me I named him Metis. He was a 
daring, restless boy, and it was very hard for him to keep 
from cutting the benches and spoiling the inkstands in 
school. One time I had to pay quite a bill for this, 
but I only gave it him to pay, telling him I would have 
to go without my dinner that day. His little lip quivered, 
and he could not possibly swallow his own dinner. He 
would often come, after we returned to Barrnah, twine 
his arms around me, laying his sweet face close to mine, 
and whisper, "I am so glad you didn't leave me in 
America, for then I should have been a bad boy. You 
know I couldn't be still, mama/' leaving tears of tender 
gratitude upon my cheek ; and truly I was afraid to 
leave him, lest he should be treated with severity for his 
restlessness, and so become stubborn. 

My dear boys at one time bore a heavy weight upon 
their hearts for months ; at last they came to me and 
made a full confession of all their heart-sins, and poured 
out their long pent-up sorrows. After this they were 
very happy, and tried to live in the fear of God. They 
had sinful hearts, but they struggled hard and obtained 
the victory, so that I recollect only a single instance 
where a wicked nature betrayed itself, and then but for a 
moment, during all the last year of Frank's life. From 
being restless he became quiet, from being careless he 
became exceedingly watchful, and from being hard he 
became as tender as an infant in all his emotions. The 
change was remarkable and striking, and I doubt if boys 
ever enjoyed more of Christ together. 


They studied everything together, reciting to one 
another ; with my examining them on Saturdays, they 
got on so as to enter the High School Latin Class in 
Newton Centre, Mass., after reaching home when seven 
years old, and they went through arithmetic alone. 
They generally kept their study-hours very regularly, 
knowing that an exhaustless fund of amusement was 
ready for them as soon as the lessons were well learned. 
They had their own little Burman high-backed saddles, 
their own pony, and their own boat. At four o'clock, 
they donned their Highland costume, and steered with 
all speed over the river to the orphans, who knew just 
when to expect them, and were always ready on the 
beach ; and these poor children miss them now. 

They taught all the boys in the settlement how to 
swim, and girls to row a boat, and to ride. My Frank 
was a fine rider, and could manage any pony that was 
brought in to our village. He was thrown two or three 
times, so was his brother ; but they both rode so that 
they would gallop up and down the roads at the swiftest 
possible speed, without saddle or bridle. Boating was 
a source of great amusement to both the boys, and this, 
too, they taught the Karen students, having first learned 
themselves, for the young men coming from the moun- 
tains were extremely fearful of water. One time, Frank 
was rowing me across the river, when there arose a 
sudden squall, which came near capsizing the boat. We 
had a dozen Karens in the boat, and all too much 
frightened to give the slightest assistance. " Bail out ! " 
he cried, " and sit still. We "11 go it." This re-assured 


the Karens, and he landed vis all safely. It was a very 
wild scene, and one of great peril. The wind was blow- 
ing a gale, and the whole river in commotion, the breakers 
all around us, and the white crested waves every moment 
dashing over us. Edwin had rowed his boat across, and 
stood ready to strike out if we went over. And over we 
must have gone but for my brave little pilot, who stood 
up amidst the wild waters, and gave his orders loud 
above the roaring winds, and in a tone so calm and self- 
possessed, it inspired every one present, so that each one 
did the very best thing possible, and we all reached 
shore without harm. It was really a great feat, and 
he, dear boy, was amply paid by seeing that his papa 
and I appreciated his skill. 

With all their play and study, one would think they 
could not have been of much service to me, but oh ! 
they were, and when gone, I missed my darling on 
every rock, every wave, and in every corner of the 
house. All the time I was in the jungles after timber, 
Frank and Edwin were our accountants and apothe- 
caries, selling, during that time, four hundred rupees' 
worth of medicines and books to the Karens. Every 
ounce of this and every book they had set down in 
perfect order, and rendered the account to their papa, 
with all the money received in. Frank, also, kept my 
bazaar account for me, and servants' bills, and every- 
thing expended in the family. 

Soon after this parting, I was brought very low with 
fever for three weeks ; and in the rains I wrote to my 
daughter : — 


" I have scarcely done anything for many months but 
nurse and doctor the sick. Cholera has been raging all 
around ; and out of our little settlement, thirty-four are 
now at rest. I have taken four very severe cases of cholera 
into our own house, and, by God's blessing, they are 
now well : the last was Quala, whose wife had just died 
with cholera in the jungles. Twenty-five orphans are 
with us, all made so within three months. On the 
mountains they all flee and leave the sick to die alone, 
and remain unburied until the wild beasts enter the 
house and devour them." 




Our sufferings were thought to have been caused by 
cholera. If I thought otherwise, it was not wise to 
think it aloud ; but scarcely had we recovered, when 
Captain Rock, the " King of Tounghoo," as he crowned 
himself, called on us with a train of Burmese. 

" Mrs. Mason, these Burmese have come with a peti- 
tion for some land. You see I know nothing about the 
matter — nothing at all," he said. I begged to explain 
that the Burman Thuygee had given the land to the 
Karens by order of the former Deputy Commissioner. 
" But you bring no documents," said the King. " I can 
deal only with documents. You had better write imme- 
diately to the Commissioner for documents." 

" The Commissioner knows all about the matter, and 
has given orders that we should not be molested." 

" Aye ! Is that your school-house over the river ?" 

" It is the People's house." 

" Oh, ay, but I 've not much opinion of this mission 
work. Missionaries, no doubt, mean well ; but it 's all 
useless — there's no changing savages. You'll never 


" The Commissioner thinks we have succeeded." 

" Well, but, Mrs. Mason, what shall we do about this 

matter ? It 's very unpleasant — particularly unpleasant." 

" There is nothing to be done. The Commissioner 

of Pegu gave the Thuygee orders commanding him what 

to do." 

" The Thuygee ! How ? what ? where is it ? " in 
apparent amazement, whereupon the Thuygee was 
obliged to produce the order which commanded him not 
to trouble the Karens, and not to give the jungle to any 
other party till the boundary should be settled. 

" Yes, I see ; but, Mrs. Mason, these people say they 
want to enlarge their fields. I know nothing about it — 
nothing at all. It's very bad — very bad, indeed, this 
mingling of races." 

Two weeks after this boding interview, I went up 
into the rice fields, and, to my dismay, found the Bur- 
mese had began to clear the Karen land. We were 
entirely at the mercy of Captain Rock, so I wrote up 
to him. He replied that he had ordered all work to 
cease, and had appointed a Burman to go out and inves- 
tigate the subject. Commissioned a hostile Burman, 
and that, too, directly contrary to official orders! I 
entreated that the subject might be left where the Com- 
missioner himself had left it. 

" That cannot be," he answered. " It is clearly my 
duty to prevent all trespassing. I shall to-morrow re- 
issue my order to the Goung to take up any Karens 
whom he may find trespassing upon the land in dispute." 
Entreaties were again employed. No reply : the work 


was all stopped, the Karens in great distress, the Bur- 
mese rejoicing, declaring that Captain Rock has deter- 
mined all Karens should go back to the hills. One 
Burman comes riding into the fields with an elephant to 
trample down the Karens — their houses are pulled down 
— they are terribly threatened and frightened, and we 
flee to prayer, and are all of us found in the chapel 
till twelve o'clock. 

In the morning arrives the Rangoon mail, and I 
read, — 

" To , Esq., Collector of Customs, Tolnghoo. 

" Sir, 

" I herewith enclose to you a copy of a letter dated 
the 8th of February last, which I addressed to Captain 
D., directing him to make over to the mountain Karens 
some vacant jungle land in the circle of Kannee. As 
this has not been done, I herewith invest you with 
special powers to proceed and do so. 

" When completed, I request you will send me a copy, 
showing the exact boundaries given to the Karens. 

" Any Burmese settlers on land within that which 
the Karens applied for, who have entered since the date 
of the application, will be directed to quit. 
" I have, &c, &c, 

• A. P. Phayre, 
" Com. Pegu, Agent to the Got. -General!' 

By the same mail the following came to me from 
Colonel Phayre : — 


" As soon as the papers reach me, I will endeavour 
to make everything satisfactory. I consider it a great 
object to induce the mountain Karens to come down to 
the plains. You may be sure I will do all I can to 
encourage them." 

The order had been issued previous to Captain 's 

order, and had been ten days or more on the way, so it 
was very singular that it should reach us just at this 
time, as if God, foreseeing the distress that would come 
upon us, had so arranged it on purpose to comfort us, 
and to grant special answer to prayer. Truly, " It is 
not in man that walketh to direct his steps." I imme- 
diately telegraphed to the Commissioner : — 

"Thank you! Thank you!" Heb. vi. 10; and took 
for our subject, in the Bible class that evening, 1 John 
v. 14, "And this is the confidence that we have in 
Him, if we ask anything according to His will, He 
heareth us." 

This arrangement sent the Karens for a time back to 
their paddy fields. But the result of this officer's inves- 
tigations will be seen in Mr. Mason's official letter to 
Government : — 

" Tounghoo, June 12th, 1859. 

" To Colonel Phayre, Commissioner or Pegu. 
" Sir, 

" I have the honour to acknowledge the reception 
of your letter, dated May 18th, 1859, making inquiries 
relative to the Kannee lands now in cultivation by the 


338 MR. mason's letter. 

Karens. To make the matter as plain as possible, a map 
of those lands, accompanying this letter, will be found 
reduced from the Surveyors' map, made by the Super- 
intendent of Customs. According to a statement in one 
of your notes to Mrs. Mason, that ' No interference or 
occupation of the land, after the date of the application, 
could be allowed,' Mrs. Mason pledged her word to the 
Karens, who were very fearful lest they should lose their 
labour, that the land they cleared should be their own, 
and fifty -five men have been at work in the forest, more 
or less, for the last five or six months. The Super- 
intendent, making his boundary, has cut off twelve of 
the best paddy fields cleared by the Karens, running 
along the watercourses where the water is a cubit 
deep, leaving them only a narrow strip, where the water 
is but ankle deep. These fields, on which they had 
worked for some six months, he has given to the Bur- 
mese, whose broad, rich fields already stretched as far as 
the eye could scan. 

" He admits that the Karens are wronged by the 
arrangement he proposes, because he recommends remu- 
neration to be made. He writes me, ' The Commis- 
sioner will, I doubt not, consent to a moderate pecu- 
niary indemnification being made to them.' Now, if 
the Karens have commenced their cultivation illegally, 
they are not entitled to ' pecuniary indemnification ; ' 

but Mr. says they are entitled to it, therefore 

they have commenced cultivating their lands legally, 

Mr. being judge ; and all we ask is to have this 

legal occupancy confirmed to them. Money is not the 

MR. mason's letter. 339 

article wanted, but the land, and Mr. 's special 

powers were to make over the land applied for ; and by 
refusing to do this, and recommending that the Karens 
shall be driven oif the land for a pecuniary indemnifica- 
tion, he seems to me to have travelled out of the docket, 
and assumed ' special powers' not granted him. Instead 
of making over the land as directed, he goes into a 
lengthened statement of reasons for taking it from the 
Karens, and giving it to the Burmese ; the main one of 
which is, that the Burmese are rich ! 

" The whole space of good paddy land is very small 
for a large number of people. The remainder is either 
too sandy or too dry for paddy, and will answer only for 
temporary cultivation or for gardens." 

The Superintendent of Customs was not a man that 

feared God, and was overawed by Captain . He 

was soon after removed to another post, and again the 

work fell back into Captain 's own hands, who had 

long hoped to be appointed Deputy Commissioner of 
Tounghoo, but hearing that the vacancy was otherwise 
filled, he was like a wild elephant, ready to trample 
nations, Government, and all into the ground, so he sent 
Mr. Mason another note : — 

" Tounghoo, 25th July, 1850. 
' " My, dear Sir, 

" A few days ago two Burmese came and complained 
to me of your Karens, as I prognosticated would be the 
case. I ordered the Kannee Thugyee to investigate 

z 2 


into the matter, and to report to me. He is here now, 
and may I beg you to attend and hear the case further 

On his departure from Tounghoo, the Superintendent 
of Customs had issued an order, permitting the Karens 
to resume their work again, and had commanded that 
no one should interfere with them, being compelled to 
do so by Colonel Phayre. This order Mr. Mason sent 
up to the court. 

Captain replied, " I must issue a fresh order, 

and insist upon the land being vacated by the Karens 
till the decision of the boundary comes from the Com- 

This threw the Karens and myself once more into the 
deepest distress. I again telegraphed to Colonel Phayre, 
and soon this note came from Captain : — 

"August 3rd, 1859. 
" Dear Sir, 

" I beg leave to send you the accompanying telegram. 
Your people are to reap the one crop that they have now 
cultivated. I will issue the necessary order." 

" Now, let us show the Burmese what Christianity is. 
We '11 not utter a word of triumph as they did to us, 
but we '11 only speak kindly/' says the principal culti- 
vator, in which all the others join. Praising God and 
giving thanks, they proceed again to their fields. Two 
or three days pass. In comes the Thugyee with another 


paper, utterly forbidding the Karens to proceed. "We 
again remonstrate, and the following is received from 
Captain : — 

" I told the Thugyee explicitly to let them alone, as 
far as the crop sown by them was concerned, which it is 
most clearly understood they are to have, but I don't un- 
derstand that they are to continue further cultivation." 

They were in the midst of ploughing and sowing 
their fields, in the greatest haste, as the right season for 
it was rapidly passing. 

More entreaties follow, telling Captain that the 

Karens cleared the fields themselves, that they would 
have no rice for the whole year, that they had already 
suffered extremely by cholera, and that they and their 
little ones were starving. 

Answer : — 

" I shall certainly adhere to my resolution, and not 
allow either party to reap any benefit from the land ;" 
and the Thugyee ordered every one to leave the fields 
with their families and buifalos. Difficult as it was to 
write to such a wicked man, I did again, stating that, 
if compelled to drive away their buffalos, the Karens 
would never be able to repay the Government loan, and 
he alone must be responsible for the money. Upon this 
he permitted the Karens to remain in their homes and 
tend their buffalos, provided they would not raise a 
hand to work on the land in question, but threatening 
that if they did that, and were brought before him for 
trespass, their fine should exceed all the value of their 
anticipated crops. 

342 captain d'oyly dead. 

Picture, reader, forty or fifty families, in as many 
different houses, scattered up through the fields. All 
of a sudden there appear red-belted peons all along, 
hooting out Government orders to stop all work. The 
plough is arrested in its furrow — the sower's arm is 
caught back with its handful of seed — the uplifted axe 
is jerked from the hand of the forester — the poor mother 
bending over her potato patch is ordered into the hut, 
and the armful of faggots is knocked from the arm's of 
the little child. 

Weeks pass, and Captain D'Oyly, as a special favour, 
comes from Prome, — Captain D'Oyly, the benevolent 
Commissioner, who gave them the land ; a man re- 
markable for deep penetration, for skill in dealing with 
the different classes of nations ; a man noted, too, for 
his sympathy and fear of God. To him the Commis- 
sioner of Pegu writes : — 

"I consider it of great importance that the moun- 
tain Karen tribes should be induced to settle in the 
plains, and cultivate land. I feel assured you will also 
see the importance of the case in that respect, and also 
of the epiestion generally being settled satisfactorily and 
justly for both parties." 

Four days pass, and Captain D'Oyly is laid on a sick 
bed — one week, and he dies. A pall ! a pall ! Alas, 

for the Karens! Captain again takes the field, 

and the Karens are scattered. 

Two Karen chiefs, who were leaders in this under- 
taking, had also died very suddenly. It was said by 
cholera, but I held their hands when they died, and 

suspicions. 343 

was no more sure of that than the officers were with 
Captain D'Oyly's horses. He had four or five, one 
pair of beautiful iron greys, which were great pets. 
First a common one died, then another, then one 
of the greys. Captain D'Oyly was in the jungles 
upon official business, and seeing all his ponies going, 
his friend, Captain Bond, roused up, and examinations 
were made again and again, still the ponies died, until 
every one was gone ! The natives cried snakes ! Cap- 
tain D'Oyly was a Christian Commissioner, and sought 
earnestly to honour the law, human and divine. He 
detected a Burman of high rank in harbouring robbers, 
and sharing the booty, for which he fearlessly cast him 
into prison. It was soon after this that all his ponies 
died ; and since we commenced the paddy cultivation, 
the Karens have had four elephants die, two of which 
cost seven hundred rupees each. 

I confess I feel that my own life, and that of every 
one who attempts to work for God's kingdom in Toung- 
hoo, is in jeopardy, as well as the school-buildings. 

I sent a text to the Commissioner of Pegu : — 

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but 
against principalities, against powers, against the riders 
of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wicked- 
ness in high places." 

As the Karens were driven away in the midst of their 
ploughing, when too late to make mountain fields, 
seventeen families had not a kernel of rice for the year. 
These suffered greatly, having been reduced a part of 
the time almost to starvation, and must have come to 


still greater suffering if the others and ourselves had 
not helped them by sharing their sufferings. Thirteen 
families had only from twenty to forty baskets, when 
they had cleared land enough for one hundred baskets 
each, and more. Out of six Bghai villages commenced, 
only one man was allowed to cultivate at all, and he 
had only thirty or forty baskets, when he and the other 
Bghais had cleared land enough for a good crop. Thirty- 
eight families had been so alarmed by the threatenings 

of Captain , that they fled for ever, it is supposed. 

But the continued perseverance of the others amidst 
such heavy oppression proves, that, if rightly cared for, 
the Karens will yet greatly remunerate Government for 
any aid it may render them. 

You will ask why it was that so many should harrass 
the Karens. I can only answer, Satan was let loose 
for a little season, for some wise purpose, perhaps to 
drive them into the sure tower and rock of defence. 




Colonel Phayre, finding the independent Karens a 
pretty formidable host to deal with, resolved to form a 
mountain police of reliable Christian men, who should 
be able to protect their own schools, chapels, and homes. 
Upon this I petitioned that fifty might be enlisted from 
the paddy cultivators on the plains ; I thought it would 
help them to pay for their buffalos. 

Among them would be found the fittest and strongest 
men now, for after a year spent in the neighbourhood of 
the schools, they could walk twice as far, carry twice as 
much, and accomplish more by contrivance than the rest. 
They would be the most obedient. It would inspire the 
men on the mountains, to see a body of soldiers prac- 
tising on their own parade ground. They would feel more 
secure, because the Institute Guard acts as the pulse of 
the nation, holding immediate and daily communication 
in a direct line with every village and hamlet, from 
Shwagyn to the Burmese territory on the north, and to 
the Red Karen kingdom on the east. Then it was of 
importance to protect this post, as here would be grouped 
their most costly buildings, libraries, and school appa- 


ratus, and schools, too, in constant operation. But 
above all these considerations, the Kannee Pass led 
right through their paddy settlement, and this was 
the key to the city from the north-east. Colonel Phayre 
was very willing to allow the arrangement, provided it 
did not too much weaken the guard on the hills. The 
new officer was empowered to organize the Karen police, 
but when he called for the men, they hesitated. 

" Is Captain going to organize us ?" the Karen 

chiefs inquired in dismay. " Teacher, we are afraid." 
They remembered the sacked villagers had obtained no 
redress ; they remembered the rice land was not yet 
given, and when he sent for them, only a very few would 
come at all. Colonel Phayre's plan was to form two 
companies in the mountains, supply them with arms, 
and a certain quantity of ammunition monthly, and let 
them learn to use them themselves in the jungles, paying 
them a mere nominal sum, just enough to make the hill 
men recognise them as soldiers. This he and Mr. Mason 
had arranged, as the cheapest, wisest, and best for the 
people, and it pleased the Karens far better than to come 
to town at full pay. 

Captain 's judgment was to make them barrack 

soldiers, and have them thoroughly drilled. Mr. Mason 
doubted the expediency of doing this, and did not like to 
meddle with it ; besides, he had no time. Then Captain 
turned to me : — 

" Come," he said, " Mrs. Mason, they will do anything 
you tell them. Call them down and encourage them to 


Mr. Mason, under the circumstances, thought I had 
better do it. So the Board of Managers was called. 
They immediately telegraphed to every pinnacle and 
glen by their runners, and in two days nearly two hun- 
dred chiefs and men stood before Captain , the 


" Great Chief, greeting," they said, as all appeared in 
highland garb and dignity ; but they noticed he did not 
give his hand to them as Colonel Phayre and Captain 
D'Oyly had done. 

" Tell them," said the Captain, " I will enroll two 
companies, with two captains, two lieutenants, eight 
sergeants, and one hundred and sixty men." 

" Th'kyen," they replied, " we are afraid. We are 
ignorant men. We do not understand white men's 

" Never mind ; I '11 send a man over here to teach 

" Suppose your man drinks, he will spoil all our young 
men. Suppose he flogs, our people will all run away." 

" He shall not do either. I know a good man who 
never drinks. I '11 send for him." 

" Would he be patient ? We cannot learn quickly. 
We don't know Burmese talk." 

" He shall neither flog nor drink. He shall be 
patient. I want you to remain on the plains until you 
have learned thoroughly." 

" Th'kyen, we are chiefs. We have the care of our 
villages and of God's work on the mountains. We 
cannot remain constantly." 


" But I will pay your captains forty rupees the month, 
the lieutenants twenty-five, the sergeants sixteen, and 
the sepoys eight." 

" Th'kyen, let the great Governor keep his money. 
Give us arms, powder, shot, and land. We will learn 
to shoot ; we will defend our villages and chapels." 

" But I cannot give you these, unless you come and 
learn soldiers' business." 

"How long must we stay away from our homes ?" 

" Till you have learned to be soldiers." 

" Shall we then go back ?" 

" You shall." 

" We cannot learn with the Burmans. They do not 
worship God. They drink and swear. Our young men 
would follow in their ways, and be ruined. We cannot 
drill with heathen." 

" You need not. You may have Karen barracks in 
your own village, and be drilled here." 
. " How can we learn here, Th'kyen." 

" I will send men to teach you. You shall be entirely 
separate from the Burmese, and have nothing to do with 

" Shall we not have Burman officers ?" 

" No. I will make Karen officers." 

" Shall we certainly be taught in our own village, and 
not be called over to learn with the Burmese ? " 

" You shall." 

" Th'kyen, our men cannot support their families 
on soldiers' pay. Give them less money and some 


" You shall have the land as I told you, every bit of 
it " (impatiently). 

" Mama, we are afraid. If he means true, why does 
he not pity our starving brothers ? Why does he not let 
us have the land now, and why does he not bring back 
the captives ? Teacheress, we fear this Government 
man. Do you advise us to enlist V* 

" I cannot advise. He appears truthful. You will 
get no arms unless you do enlist." 

" Teacheress, pledge your word with this Governor's, 
then we Avill enlist." 

" Captain , they are afraid," turning to him. 

" They fear Government will ensnare them. They will 
not enlist unless I give my word with you." 

" Pray give it, Mrs. Mason. I will deal honourably 
with them." And so I gave my word that the promises 
made them shall be sacredly kept, and they gave in their 
names, the best chiefs being appointed officers. 

It is the Sabbath — the chiefs and men are assembled 
for worship. Hark ! What are they listening to ? Why 
do the young men look at the chiefs, the chiefs at one 
another, and all at me so questioningly ? Drive, drive ! 
clack, clack ! go the hammers — up — up go the rafters 

all through that holy day. Captain 's workmen 

building him a new house. Nothing is said. 

It is Monday morning — the chiefs are on the verandah. 

" Teacher, I want my name taken off from the list 
of Bos" (officers). " And mine," "And mine," said 
one after another. 

"Why, what 's the matter now ?" 


" Oh, this ruler does not know the Ten Command- 
ments /" As usual, I go to Mr. Mason. 

"You had better return/' he said, "and reason the 
matter. Tell thern they will probably encounter many 
temptations, but on the other hand, if they do not enlist, 
Government will give them no arms, and there will be no 
protection for them against their enemies." 

I find them all assembled in the Institute. 

"Then what shall we do?" they cry all at once, 
greatly excited. 

"Don't you know what the Bible says?" 

" Er, er," answered Poquai. " ' Let him that lacks 
wisdom ask of me.'" I leave them to prayer and con- 
sultation. Again the chiefs appear on the verandah. 

" We have determined what to do," and they hold out 
a list of resolutions : — 

" 1st. We will not tcork on God's holy day.'' 

" 2nd. We will not drink arrack, or toddy, or brandy, 
or allow our men to use these drinks." 

" 3rd. We will take care only of our own country." 

" 4th. We will have permission to leave our business 
honourably, if we dislike it." 

" Oh, oh ! Captain won't sign any such paper/' 

I said, taking it in to Mr. Mason. 

" Then we may not enlist," was the determined reply 

"Why do you name the third?" Mr. Mason asks 
just then stepping out of his study. 

"Because, teacher, this Governor does not Jcnoic the 
Ten Commandments. So whether he will be good or 
bad, we do not know. Supposing he is bad, then he gets 


angry with us ignorant Karens. He says, I'll punish 
'em, so he may send us away over to the west and 
leave our homes unprotected ; then an enemy may come 
immediately, destroy our villages, and break up our 

" This is correct reasoning, but why the fourth resolu- 
tion ? That is contrary to all military usage." 

" Teacher, we know our people. If a Karen does 
not like a thing, he '11 run away. No officer, no money, 
no Government can keep him. Then we are made 
ashamed before the Great Governor, and our name is 
injured before our brethren in America." I begged 
them, if determined, yet to soften the matter down a 
little and be polite, which they tried to be, and then 

went up, asking for Captain 's signature and the 

Government stamp. 

" Oh yes, yes ; I '11 sign it. Come with me to court." 
Immediately there comes a Burman goung, and pours 
down fifteen hundred rupees upon the floor before the 
Karen officers. Then another follows : — 

" What 's your name ?" 

" Chief Ledie." 

"And yours?" 

" Chief J'Que." So he goes round, and takes the 
names of all the officers in his book. 

"Done! Take your money and be off!" gruffly, 
with a haughty toss of the head. 

" Give us the paper, Th'kyen," entreat the chiefs. 

" Go — go. I can't attend to you ; I am full of busi- 
ness," says Captain in displeasure. 

352 THE TRAP. 

" We wait, Th'kyen," and there they sat until noon, 
when two came over to me. 

"What shall we do, mama?" they asked in great 

" Have you signed any receipt ?" 

" No." 

"Are you sure?" 


" Have they not taken your names ?" 

" A Burman set down our names, but we have not 
touched the money." 

" But you have given your names, and without the 

" We gave nothing. The Burman took our names." 
I referred the matter again to Mr. Mason, and he decided 
that they were under no obligation to take the money, 
without the signature promised to their resolutions, as 
they had told him they could not serve without it. 

"We will not touch it!" they cried resolutely, and 
again took their seats to await his convenience. Two 
o'clock comes, three o'clock, and no indication of the 

signature ; four o'clock, and Captain leaves the 


" We go, Th'kyen," say the chiefs, rising. 

" Take the rupees." 

" Give us the paper, Th'kyen ! " 

" The Mengyee will give no paper. Take the money 
and be gone." 

" We leave it here, Th'kyen." 

" You dare not leave it. It is yours, and you are 

THE TRAP. 353 

ct "VVe mil not have it, Th'kyen, without the paper." 

A secret messenger is despatched to Captain ■ . 

He re- appears, throws them a letter in Burmese, ordering 
them away gruffly. They desire to have the paper read, 
but are peremptorily ordered out that the doors may be 
closed. So they take up the money, and being half- 
famished, having sat there all day, they go immediately 
over to their Karen settlement, and send the assistant 
with the paper to Mr. Mason. Mr. Mason reads : — 

" You are to obey me and the officer whom I place 
over you !" 

" That all ?" he asks in dismay. 

" That is all." 

Terrible indignation we knew would rise in every 
breast, that evening, among the Karens ; and long we 
sat deliberating on what course to pursue ; until Mr. 
Mason became alarmed. 

" Go over," he says, " and try to soften their anger, 
and help them to arrange for guarding the money 
through the night, for they will surely be robbed." 

Ten o'clock rings — Shemoop is called — I jump into 
my little boat, and reach the landing. The gong is 
rung, and in a few minutes nearly two hundred men in 
their Highland tunics, with dahs in hand, and in great 
excitement, are hovering close around me in the moon- 

" Come, brothers, let us go in and talk over this 
matter. Now speak, each one. Say just what you 
choose," for I thought it safer to let them exhaust their 
pent-up feelings first. And they did speak, one after 

2 A 

35-i ONE NOT ALL. 

another, and poured forth their indignation upon the 
English Government, until every eye gleamed and many 
leaped to their feet, snatching their dahs and war-clubs 
in one wild clamour. 

" Gently, gently, brothers." 

" Sit down !" shout the captains. " Let mama speak.'" 
Instantly every voice is hushed, every form has dropped 
upon the floor, and every eye is fixed to hear if I can 
say a word in extenuation. Very gently, in a low voice, 
I ask : — 

" Are there not kidnappers in your nation V 

" Yes/' 

• \Vould you like Commissioner Phayre to declare 
you all kidnappers?" 

" No — no — we understand." 

" You saw the Great Commissioner at Klurlae. Did 
he ever tell you a falsehood ?" 

" The Great Commissioner tell a lie ! No — no — he 
couldn't tell a lie ! He knows the Ten Commandments." 

" Then do not put this sin upon the English Govern- 

" No — no — we must not." 

" Then again, did you not say this man knows not 
the Ten Commandments ?" 

" Er — er. So we have reason to fear." 

" Then, ought you to call all Englishmen bad?" 

" No — no, but why does he not learn ? He knows 
books. He is a disciple." 

" Is he a disciple ? What does the Bible say is the 
beginning of wisdom ? " 


u The fear of God," answers Pwama, again. 

" Without the beginning, can there be progress ? 
Ought we not to pity rather than be angry with hirn ?" 

" Er, er, the teacheress is right ; but we'll carry it 
back," exclaim the Captains, in one breath. 

" May be he'll put you in gaol." 

" Let him put us in gaol — let him cut off our heads — 
we can bear it," thundered the Captains, towering up. 
" Brothers," they cry, turning to the sepoys, " you 
have not taken one anna of this money. You are free. 
Go home if you choose. To-morrow we carry all back 
and pour it at the Governor's feet. We wont eat 
Government money." In half an hour, scores of these 
men, who had enlisted as soldiers at my earnest entreaty, 
were tramping off up the mountains, as hard as they 
could go, declaring they would never again come down 
at the call of Government. The next morning the 

Captains went up once more to Captain with 

Nah Khan Qualay, and begged for the right paper. 

" I can never sign such a paper," he replied. " No 
Government officer would agree to such propositions." 

" If the paper does not please the Governor, let him 
not sign it ; but let him dismiss his humble servants to 
their homes." 

" I shall not dismiss you. You have enlisted." 

" We go, Th'kyen," rising, bowing themselves out. 

"Go where?" 

" For the money, my lord." And so he allowed them 
to depart ; but on their reaching the river, a messenger 
was despatched to call them back. They went and 

2 a 2 


stood at the foot of the steps, half expecting to see an 

" Hear," says Captain "here's your paper," and 

gave them the veritable document, just what they had 
asked, stamped with the Government seal. With joyful 
eyes they brought it to Mr. Mason, and desired us to 

write a note of thanks to Captain , which was done, 

assuring him that blessings would fall upon him from 
every pinnacle of the mountains, when he sent us the 
following kind reply : — 

" It gives me much pleasure to think that in carrying 
out the signing of the Karen petition, I should, at the 
same time, have afforded you so much satisfaction ; and 
I trust, with your valuable assistance, to be able to show 
that the Karens, if properly cared for, will prove as able 
settlers of the country as the tribes around them. I 
was much amused yesterday to see the Karens sit so 
utterly regardless of the rupees before them. I supposed 
they would grasp them like Burmese and Shans ; but I 
see they are not to be bought over from the service of the 
great God whom you have so wonderfully introduced 
among them." 

" Now let us thank God," said Poquai, one of the 
Lieutenants, and in humble awe and love they bowed 
there at once, and sent up their warm heart-breathings 
to the Almighty, whose own right arm had wrought 
their deliverance. 

It was then thought that Captain had only 


been trying these Christian officers to see what they 
really were ; but, however it was, we knew the answer 
was from the Lord ; and that night we took for our 
text in the Bible class, " I will sing of the mercies of 
the Lord for ever ; with my mouth will I make known 
thy faithfulness to all generations." 

One day a messenger came in out of breath, saying, 
the Bogyee Brigand, who had sacked the village men- 
tioned, was pouring down his men towards the Chris- 
tians again. The Deputy Commissioner sent up an 
embassy with a written message, threatening this Bob 
Roy of the north, if he didn't behave himself, he would 
set a thousand rupees upon his head. His ambassadors 
went as far towards the hostile region as they dared, to 
put up the message on a stake in the path, and hastened 
back to court as hard as they could go. The pickets 
soon found the missive, and hastened to send it to their 
leader. In a few days a letter from the daring brigand 
was found much nearer home, bidding defiance to the 
Government, and telling the Deputy to beware, or he 
would come and spear him and burn his town. The 
marauders came on, gathering strength at every step. 
Again he reached the plundered chief's village, which 
now lay powerless before him, for his force was said to 
be several thousand strong. 

" See," he says, " what do you gain from these white 
Colahs ? What have they done for you ? Besist me 
now, and I'll burn your village; join me, and I will 
redress your wrongs in a different way." The plun- 
dered chief was entirely at his mercy ; he had no power 


sist the demands of such a sweeping force, and, of 
course, gave him food and shelter. Some said his 
people joined the warriors. If they did. it is not strange.. 
though I think it was untrue ; but the Border leader 
pushed on, coercing and persuading, and under the magic 
name oi Menlong, he carried all before him. 

The Deputy Commissioner is sleeping quietly in his 
own house — one nearest the invader's route. What 
dreams he of danger at that midnight hour I But hark ! 
a knocking at the door. What is it ! 

••Th'kyen! Th'kyen : Menlong! Menlong!" 

Captain starts up — the English forces are 

called in haste to the battle — meet the brigand, who 
flies into the forest — Captain with six English- 
men give chase — the friendly Karens see the Commis- 
sioner's danger — rush to the conflict — the robber is 
overborne, but he sells his life dearly — three brave 
Karens lie slaughtered at his feet — the prisoner is taken 
down to the spot which he had reached nearest to town, 
and is there hung. 

Tounghoo is saved — but was it saved by foreigners ? 
No, indeed '. It was saved by the Karen police of native 
Christians, who gave the warning, and who so boldly 
risked their lives for their ruler. 




Thus far does Mrs. Mason describe this true "Romance 
of Missions :" ire should not perhaps venture to use a 
word that commonly appertains to the kingdoms of the 
unreal, but that we have the authority of Dr. Mason, 
her grave and sober husband, for it, in his appendix to 
his little b:»ok called -'The Karen Apostle/' which has 
been often re-published both in England and America, 
a fourth edition of which lately reached us by the hand 
of Mrs. Ranney, a sister Missionary, just fresh from 
Rangoon. '• The history of the introduction of Chris- 
tianity among the Karens/' Dr. Mason says, "is - 
full of 'truth stranger than fiction.'" to be believed by 
those afar off from us, and yet the brightest colom 
these scenes of surpassing interest are perhaps never 
seen at home." 

'■ The days most interesting to myself/' he writes in 

1862, " during more than thirty years of Missionary life, 

are those spent at the Association Anniversaries. These 

people must n on their native mountains to be 

_ iated and understood. Between one and two 


thousand persons, encamped in booths covered with 
green branches, are gathered around a large central 
bamboo building erected for the occasion, in winch they 
assemble four times a-day. 

" It is their annual holiday, and dressed in their best, 
the large proportion in new clothes, more especially the 
women and children, their appearance in the varied 
frarments of a dozen different tribes and chins is most 
picturesque. Standing in their midst, surrounded by 
the wild scenery of their wild hills, with their unbroken 
ponies dashing to and fro, they seem wilder than the 
Bedouin of the desert ; but what a contrast to the Arab 
who has been deluded by his False Book ! When the 
gong brings the people to worship, the scene appears to 
change by enchantment. The young men arise to ad- 
dress the congregation by turns from the Word of the 
true God ; and we could believe ourselves again at 
home, listening to the eloquent discourses of our popular 

" The Karens are a remarkable people, and a remark- 
able change has come over them — like the change of the 
lion to the lamb. The most astonishing feature of the 
whole work, to my mind, is the number and talent of 
the Native Preachers that God has raised up among 

In 18G0, Mrs. Mason again left Burmah for America, 
to invite, by personal intercourse and description, the aid 
of American and English ladies in her sphere of labour. 
She passed by way of London, and, during her then 
short visit, was introduced to the details of the " Miss- 


ing Link " Mission among our Home Heathen, and 
became confirmed in her ideas that very similar plans 
will be found useful in Tounghoo, the Bible-readers, 
however, being necessarily of a different age. 

" Before I left home," she says, " Mr. Mason had 
often spoken on the subject of Bible-readers in Tounghoo, 
and the desirableness of setting forth a company of 
Native Females, with this object, to go from house to 
house, and from hamlet to hamlet, to read and explain 
the Scriptures directly to the women." 

Mrs. Mason was detained in America, first by much 
personal affliction. She caught the small-pox during 
the summer, and recovered from that sad disease only to 
nurse her young daughter-in-law through rapid con- 
sumption, and then to lay her in an early grave. She 
was further occupied in sending forward her own daugh- 
ter, Miss Bullard, to take the care of the Karen Institute, 
while she should yet be detained in America by the 
publication of her book ; thus hoping to elicit further 
help for the mission, and also to persuade assistant 
teachers to accompany her on her return, securing their 
support in England and America. 

Miss Bullard arrived safely, and did good service foi> 
many months, but she has since married and accom- 
panied her husband to India. " She was remarkably 
successful while she remained in the school," says Dr. 
Mason, " and especially helped us in teaching the 
Karens music. We mvist not now ask any one to take 
her place who does not possess this accomplishment. 
Five or six of her pupils are out on the hills, and 

362 mrs. mason's seven wishes. 

one of them writes that she has fifty-eight pupils. 
More than six hundred fresh converts have been bap- 
tized during the year, and nearly fifteen hundred rupees 
are brought in for the support of the pupils of the two 
Institutes. More female teachers and Bible-readers 
have to be continually raised up here/' adds the Doctor. 
" Mrs. Mason made a good beo-inning;, and Ella made a 
good mark, but that would soon be washed away, unless 
others shall follow, to add ' line upon line, and precept 
upon precept.' " 

We hope very soon to hear that Mrs. Mason is once 
more arrived at Touno-hoo. She left England in Febru- 
ary, and has been heard of from Rangoon. Her chief 
ambition for the present little book is, that it may be 
made the means of raising funds for the Kaeen and 
Burmese Missions to Women. 

She hopes it will have proved various things, and 
she has written not without an idea of alluring some 
of the lighter class of readers who do not in general 
read Missionary books, — of disarming their prejudice 
and attracting a new circle of friends. 

She trusts that from these pictorial records may 
spring a conviction, — 

1. Of the faithfulness of Jehovah to His promises. 

2. Of the power of His Holt Word. 

8. That the foundation of successful Missions is their 
aim from the first, to raise up Native Teachers. 

4. That it is necessary to enter into the secular 
affairs of the people, in an attempt to Christianize them, 
for such is the example of Jesus. 


5. That sympathy with those we want to teach, in 
things great and small, is the gift of heaven. 

6. That the importance of Female education in 
heathen lands cannot be over estimated, and that all 
obstacles must be overcome to attain it, because of the 
great influence on whole nations of their women and girls. 

7. She further wishes it to be observed that the 
reason why the Karens are so especially accessible to 
the efforts of Bible-readers, and the reason they are 
so much more ready to receive Christ than the sur- 
rounding heathen, is, because they recognise in Him 
the ancient " Yuah " of their traditions, even the same 
as our " Jehovah." 

As we ourselves in London have arrived simulta- 
neously at six at least of these conclusions, having 
picked them up from experience in dingy courts 
and alleys, it has been very refreshing to learn them 
anew among the jungles and the pinnacles of old 

God speed to our Missionary sister in resuming her 
work of love ! It is very sweet to think that she takes 
out with her the support for seven girl Bible-readers — 
one for each Karen Clan, for one year, from the friends 
of the " Missing Links " in our country. American 
ladies charge themselves with the provision of training 
teachers to prepare and superintend these readers. 

Mrs. Mason was so pleased with the large pictorial 
diagrams, on calico, printed and coloured by the 
Working Men's Educational Union, in illustration 
of " The Book and its Story," and of " The Book 


and its Mission/' as means of teaching to the Karens 
the history of the Bible in other countries, that she 
took out three sets of each, i. e., three sets of thirty 
pictures. They will probably soon learn to design 
similar ones. 

The subjects of the above double series are as fol- 
lows : — 

Stone Boohs. 
Picture Writing, at Karhak, Thebes. 
Writing on Stone : the Rosetta Stone. 

The Manuscript Ages. 
Ancient Manuscripts and; Materials. 

Ml lti plication OF Copies : the Scriptorium and Scribe. 
'I'm I ieath of the Venerable Bede. 
Wtolif Cited before Archbishop Courtenay. 

Bible Translators. 
The Bible Chained. 
Luther Finding the Bible. 
Luther Translating the Bible into German. 

The New Era. 

Multiplication of Copies : the Printing Press. 

Enmity to the Bible. 
The Burnt Poll ; or, the Scriptures Destroyed. 
Search for New Testaments at Oxford and Cambridge. 
Bible Burning at Paul's Cross. 

The Bible Free. 
St. Paul's Cathedral ; the Jubilee Sermon. 
The Bible House and Warehouse. 

Of " The Book and its Mission," the vols, for 1856 
and 1857 are illustrated. The subjects are as follows : — 


Lands without the Divine Booh. — Heathen. 
Tibet, the Land where there is as yet no Bible. 
Burmah. — The Missionary Judson come to present a portion 
of the Burmese Bible to the haughty Emperor. 

The Rock of Behistun. — Key to Nineveh Characters. 
Dagon and Nebo. — " Gods of the Kings of Assyria." 

Lands of the False Booh. 
Sketch of Constantinople. — Bible Colporteur on the Bridge. 
The Colporteur Amorga at Baghchejuk crying "Holy Book" 
in the Market Place. 

Lands where the Teachers have hidden and burned the 
Booh, but where it is now finding Entrance. 

The Burning of Hebrew Manuscripts in Spain. — Scene : The 
Stone Fire-place near Seville. 

The Swiss Colporteur in the Alps. 

Ancient Churches which first possessed the Booh. 
Sketch of Mont Castelluzzo. — "Bible among the Vaudois." 
Night Class in Poitou for Scripture Reading. 
The Nestorian Christians. — Scene : Salt Lake Oroomiah. 

Protestant Countries. 

Sale of Scriptures by Sunday Scholars of Manchester. 

Lieutenant Graydon and his Bible Van turned into a 
Stall at a Fair at Lausanne. 

The Bible-readers in Old St. Giles's. — A Thicket by Night. 

"Party of Modern Bible-readers in St. Giles's." — Scene: 
A Mothers' Class. On the other side of the Picture the entrance to 
" Church Lane." 

N.B. Each picture is provided with frame and eyelets for con- 
venient suspension. 

Note. — The address of the Working Men's Educational Union is 
25, King William Street, West Strand, London, W. C. 

Everything that concerns the Book of God has 
immense value in the eyes of this remarkable people. 


But the Karens have no book, or fragment of a book, 
to which they can trace their oral traditions handed 
down diligently from father to son in their songs. When 
Dr. Judson entered the country, they had not even a 
written alphabet, but their fathers had told them that 
once they possessed the word of the eternal God, which 
gave them histories of the Fall and of the Flood, and 
bade them never worship idols. They say that the 
Prophet who had the charge of this book was reading it 
one day beneath a tree and he fell asleep, when a dog 
came and tore it to pieces. Then God was angry, and 
gave them iip to the evil spirits, or " Nats," of whom 
they arc ever since in fear. This rendering is slightly 
different from that given in page 103, but is accounted 
for by the variations in oral tradition. 

They have many beliefs evidently derived from the 
Old Testament, and some very remarkable ones, ori- 
ginating perhaps in other sources. They say that men 
had at first one father and mother ; but because they 
did not love one another they separated, and their lan- 
guages became diverse, that 

" The Karen was the elder brother, 
And obtained all the words of God. 
God formerly loved the Karen nation above all others, 
But because of their transgressions, He cursed them, 
And now they have no books. 
Yet He will again have mercy on them, 
And love them above all others. 

" God departed with our younger brother, 
The white foreigner. 
He conducted God away to the "West. 


God gave them power to cross waters and reach lands, 
And to have rulers from among themselves. 
Then God went up to heaven. 
But He made the white foreigners 
More skilful than all other nations. 

" When God had departed, 

The Karens became slaves to the Burmans, 

Became sons of the forest and children of poverty ; 

Were scattered everywhere. 

The Burmans made them labour bitterly, 

Till many dropped down dead in the jungle, 

Or they twisted their arms behind them, 

Beat them with stripes, and pounded them with the elbow, 

Days without end. 

' ' In the midst of their sufferings, 

They remembered the ancient sayings of the elders, 

That God would yet save them, 

That a Karen king would yet appear. 

The Talien kings have had their season ; 

The Burman kings have had their season ; 

The Siamese kings have had their sen son; 

And the foreign kings will have their season ; 

But the Karen king will yet appear. 

When he arrives, there will be but one monarch, 

And there will be neither rich nor poor. 

Everything will be happy, 

And even lions and leopards will lose their savageness. 

" Hence in their deep afflictions they prayed, 
If God will save us, 
Let Him save speedily ! 
We can endure these sufferings no longer. 
Alas ! where is God ? 

Our ancestors said that when our younger brothers came back, 
The white foreigners 

Who were able to keep company with God, 
The Karens will be happy. 


" Our ancestors charged us thus — 
' Children and grandchildren, 
If the thing come by land — weep 
If by water — laugh. 
It will not come in our days, 
But it will in yours.' 
Hence the Karens longed for those 
Who were to come by water." 

Another remarkable tradition among the people was 
as follows : — The elders said, " When the Karens have 
cleared the Horn bill city* three times, happiness will 
arrive, so when the Burinan rulers made them clear it 
the last time, they said among themselves, 'Now we 
may suppose happiness is coming, for this completes the 
third time of clearing the Horn-bill city;'" and true 
enough, for before they had finished, they heard that 
the White Foreigners had taken Rangoon. 

Dr. Judson had lived fourteen years in Rangoon, 
preaching the eternal God, in whom none would believe, 
while the poor unnoticed Karens were continually pass- 
ing his door, and singing the same truth by the way — 

" God is eternal, His life is long ; 
One Kulpa, He dies not ; 
Two Kulpas, lie dies not ; 
Kulpas on Kulpas, He dies not." 

The first Karen who attracted the Missionary's atten- 
tion was Ko-thahbyu, a slave, whom he took into the 
mission family as a free man, and after instructing him 
in the Gospel, baptized him. Ko-thahbyu then became 

* The site of an old city near Tavoy, which the Karens were called 
on to clear occasionally, when the trees grew up over it. 


a remarkable pioneer preacher to his countrymen, in one 
village after another, for thirteen years, and raised up 
other Native preachers. The above astonishing tradi- 
tional beliefs had caused these wild tribes to move 
among the haughty Burmans, unimpressed by their gor- 
geous temples, their gay processions, and their glitter- 
ing festivals. In sorrow and subjection, they bore their 
heavy burdens, and " waited for the Book." 

The beloved Judson spent twenty years of his devoted 
life in preparing the Bible for the Burmese. The best 
translation in India is admitted to be that of the Bur- 
mese Scriptures by Dr. Judson. It is as Luther's Bible 
to Protestant Germany. He prayed only that he might 
live to see a hundred converts in Burmah, after he had 
given to the people the word of God in their own 
tongue. He lived to see many more than this even in 
his own church at Rangoon ; and what he saw besides 
among the despised Karens surpassed his hopes. 

But it was for Dr. Judson's noble successors — and 
it was more especially for Mr. Wade and Dr. Mason — 
to have the high privilege of giving the Bible to 
the Karens. " With the aid of two Karens who un- 
derstood Burmese," says Mr. Wade, " I analyzed and 
classified the Karen sounds, and adopted a system of 
representing them which embraced all the syllables 
occurring in their language/' The system adopted by 
Mr. Wade is so admirably conceived, that a person 
ignorant of a single letter can learn to read Karen with 
ease in a few weeks ; whereas, Dr. Judson says, that 
after two years diligent study of the Burmese, he had 

2 b 


made less progress than he had in two months in the 
study of the French language. This fact marked the 
open path for the Missionary of the Book, and how 
wonderful it was to find that it was for nothing else 
these people were waiting. " Have you brought God's 
Book ? " said the simple, timid villagers of Dong-Yhan 
to Mr. Wade ; — the very first question they asked the 
white foreigner ; — and when the answer was, to show 
them the treasure, though in English, and to tell 
them that parts were already translated for the Bur- 
mans, then came the immediate reply, " But you must 
do it for us also." 

Mr. Wade adopted the Burman alphabet, for the 
simple reason that the Burman type only was at hand 
at the time, and when it proved inadequate to express 
the fifty-four vowel-sounds of the Karen, (itself having 
only ten,) a few new letters met the difficulty. When 
the translation of the New Testament was accomplished, 
however, no attempt was made at printing it for several 
years for want of pecuniary means, and each book was 
copied and circulated as fast as completed in manu- 
script. The Karens soon learned to write as easily as 
to read their language, which they had never before 
supposed was capable of being represented by signs. 
They are now vaulting day by day from a state of down- 
trodden slavery into a claim upon the title-deeds of their 
old nobility in the scale of nations. Mr. Mason affirms 
that the alphabetical powers of the Karen alphabet are 
of Arabic or Hebrew origin. 

From the time of their expectations being realized, 


and of their receiving the book in their own tongue, 
this people have delighted to be ruled by its precepts, 
as all the foregoing narratives evince, and this par- 
ticular circumstance irresistibly points us back to their 
origin. They must have received their traditions from 
God's chosen people, the Jews, and many of their 
habits and observances lead to the conclusion that 
they are themselves, as they say, of the race to whom, 
and to whom alone, were committed the keeping of the 
holy oracles in old time. 

There are no traces among them of New Testament 
light, which forbids the idea that they could have 
derived their knowledge from the Nestorian Missionaries, 
who were so widely scattered over Central and Eastern 
Asia from the seventh to the thirteenth century. 

There is testimony that there were Jews in China as 
early as B.C. 258, (see " Edin. Cycl.," vol. vi., p. 95,) 
and there is no reason for concluding that they were 
the first visitors of their race. May not the merchant 
princes of Tyre have had dealings with the Chinese ? and 
would not the ships of Solomon, sailing from the Red 
Sea, and spending three years on their voyage, (1 Kings 
ix. 26; 2 Chron. ix. 21,) have possibly met the same 
people at some of the ports of trade ? 

It appears, from a paper read at the meeting of the 
British. Association, in Oxford, in 1860, by Dr. Mac- 
gowan, concerning his personal researches in China, 
that he found evidence of the existence of a numerous 
and wealthy colony of Jews existing about a century 
before the birth of Christ in the city of Chintu, the 

2 b 2 


capital of the province of Sz-clmen. A magnificent 
temple which they had erected was destroyed, and 
they suddenly disappeared from Chinese territory. As 
this occurred about the time of the expulsion of the 
Huns from China, and as that city was near its western 
border, Dr. Mac-gowan supposes that some of these 
Chinese Jews found their way to the adjoining moun- 
tains dividing China from Burmah, and that they 
were either the progenitors of the Karens, or that 
through them this remarkable people obtained their 
Old Testament traditions, which, preserved among them 
for so many ages, appear thus wonderfully to have pre- 
pared them for the reception of the Gospel. 

The same authority describes the Miautsb Aborigines, 
or hill-tribes of China, as having many resemblances to 
the Karens, and dwelling on the confines of their country. 

" The Karens regard themselves," says Dr. Mason, 
"as wanderers from the north, and one of their tradi- 
tions states that a party of them came across 'the river 
of running sand' on an exploring tour. It is [regarded 
as having been an arduous work, to cross this immense 
quicksand with the sands in motion like the waters 
of a river. The tradition was quite unintelligible to 
me, until I read the Journal of Fa-hian, the Chinese 
pilgrim who visited India about the fifth century, 
which threw a sunbeam on the subject. He constantly 
designates the great desert north of Burmah, and be- 
tween China and Tibet, as ' the river of sand.' " * 

* The Desert of the Great Gobi, that wide "sea of sand and salt" 
often blown into ridges by fierce winds, and stretching away north of 
the tabledands of Tibet, to the great wall of China eastward. 


In Deut. xxviii. 64, it was said to Israel, " The 
Lord shall scatter thee among all nations, from one end 
of the earth to the other ; " and many think that the 
excellence of some of the Chinese rules of morality may 
thus be explained. Confucius was but the prince of com- 
pilers ; he does not pretend to originality ; and he may 
very probably have held communication with some of 
those heaven -taught wanderers, who always brought with 
them the law of God, and occasionally, at least, must 
have " called it to mind among the nations whither the 
Lord their God had driven them." — Deut. xxx. 1. 

There is a new colony of modern Jews at Kaifung, 
the capital of Honan, in China. Wherever they have 
colonized, they have, as we know, remained as a peculiar 
race in the midst of those around them, and are distin- 
guished, at least, by Jacob's distinction, " the race that 
plucks out the sinew." Some of the Kaifung Jews 
have been honourable in literature, several of them 
governors of provinces and Ministers of State ; but at 
present they are few in number, degraded in condition, 
and the wisest men very ignorant of their own religion. 
Some Hebrew Scripture MSS. were purchased from 
them, which do not, however, appear to have been of 
more ancient character than those already possessed in 

It is very remarkable that from the Missionary 
seminaries of the New World, at Massachusetts and 


in Pennsylvania, about a generation since, there went 
forth the young men, — now grey-haired, — to different 
points of the East, whose loving labour was in the 
course of time to bring to light such wondrous things, 
particularly concerning the Book, and the Book-peoples. 
We refer to Dr. Mason and Dr. Perkins, of the Nesto- 
rian Mission, at Oroomiah. 

We have seen Dr. Mason preparing the Bible for that 
obscure and probable portion of the ten tribes, who may 
be said to have thirsted for it during its loss more than 
all the others, and who may, perhaps, therefore, be privi- 
leged to proclaim it to all their kindred. They are 
receiving Christian ideas more rapidly than any people 
in the world, — unscathed, like the Affghans, by Moham- 
medanism, and but slightly by the surrounding super- 
stition of Budhh. It is daily developed that they are 
neither a scanty nor a scattered people, but extend 
at intervals over at least twelve degrees of latitude, 
and ten of longitude, and they are calculated to be in 
number at least five millions. The study of their 
derivation will probably throw further light on the 
outcast Israel of the Old Testament.* 

The Missions of the Book of the present day are 
unravelling the tangled threads of Scripture history in 
a manner least expected. " It is only in the Bible," says 
Dr. Moore, " that we find a bond of connexion between 
man and man, through all his kindreds, from the 

* See a most interesting work, entitled, " The Lost Tribes ; or, 
the Saxons of the East and West." By Dr. Moore, of Hastings. 
Longman &. Co., 1S01. 


beginning to the present, and to the end." This author, 
in his charming volume, points especially to the 
Hebrews, who, while " swallowed up" among the nations, 
(Hosea viii. 8,) have yet influenced those nations, quite 
distinctly from the eight or nine millions of men 
still recognised as Jews. He treats of the Tribes 
who never returned to the Land of Promise, and yet 
who remained not in Assyria, the land of their exile, 
but overflowed among the Scythians, or Sacce, (deri- 
vation Isaac,) into the land of the Tartars, and thence 
into all parts of the habitable globe. 

In Amos vii. 9, the word " Isaac " is synonymous 
with " Israel." The prophet speaks of the " house of 
Isaac," not long before Israel's banishment, and after 
they had separated themselves from the house of David. 
It is very remarkable that the name of Sacce is not 
applied by any classic historians or geographers to any 
tribe of the Scythians until some time subsequent to 
the exile of the house of Isaac. For the research 
into the links of connexion between the Sacoe and 
ourselves, the Saxons, we must refer our readers to 
further particulars in the above-named volume, and 
then to the wondrous 37th chapter of Ezekiel, — the 
"joining of the stick of Judah and of Ephraim," 
over which a light will then begin to dawn, which may 
soon increase to full daylight. 

But Dr. Perkins, and Grant, and Stoddard, and 
others in the bright roll of American names, had their 
mission to the Nestorian Christians, to the descend- 
ants of that remnant of Israel who remained in Assyria 


— the " remnant according to the election of grace" — 
spoken of by Paul in the ] 1 th of the Romans, to whom 
he alludes as connected with the rest of his people, in 
his defence before King Agrippa in Acts xxvi. 7, " Unto 
which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God 
day and night, hope to come;" and to whom the Epistle 
of James is addressed : " To the twelve tribes which 
are scattered abroad, greeting." They are greeted as 
brethren, and their faith in Christ is commended ; there- 
fore they must have become Christians in the first cen- 
tury. James, the Bishop of Jerusalem, addresses many 
of these Jewish converts as having backslidden, and 
dedicates to them his practical Epistle. 

The Nestorian Christians inhabit the same district of 
Adiabene as was occupied by converted Israel ; and 
Nestorian churches and prelates have flourished in an 
uninterrupted succession in the same places where they 
were founded by the Apostles among these Israelites. 
The Jews assert very positively that the Nestorians 
were converted from Judaism to Christianity imme- 
diately after the death of Christ, and the marvellous 
history of the Nestorian Missions in the East, com- 
mencing with that of the Apostle Thomas to India 
and to China,* continuing through thirteen centuries, 
testifies to the same fact, although their extent has been 
very indistinctly appreciated, because lost in the sub- 
sequent clouds of Romanist Missionary efforts, and we 
may also add their fables. 

* That he visited these regions is the constant tradition of the 
Syrian Churoh. 


The tablet of Scg-nan-foo* dug up in 1625, relit the 
torch of history on this point ; and for a generation past, 
as we have said, America's chosen sons, with our Eng- 
lish language, but acquiring for their Missionary purpose 
the ancient and modern Syriac, — the former being the 
language used by our Lord Himself, — have opened the 
old conduits, like Mr. Layard among the rock sculptures 
of Bavian, and restored to this ancient of ancients, 
among the churches, the refreshing stream of the " water 
of life," in a tongue that its children would understand. 

They had not, like the Karens, lost their book utterly. 
They had no printed books ; but they possessed, says 
Dr. Perkins, a few rare manuscripts of almost all the 
Bible, rolled up and hid away in secret places in their 
churches, to keep them from the ravages of the Moham- 
medans. Some of the copies are very venerable, written 
with the nicest care on parchment, and dating back to 
the period of England's Magna Charta. They are 
mostly found among the wild mountains, from which 
some tribes of the Nestorians descended three centuries 
since to the more genial plains of Oroomiah. 

From those original districts, where they still abide 
as the Protestants of Asia, they sent forth their mis- 
sions to the East and North, the traces of which remain 
to this day. They were doubtless undertaken to China 
and India from the knowledge that people of their own 
kindred were known to be in those countries, though 
they never reached the Karens, or they would have 

* In the province of Shensi. See " Book and its Story," cheap 
edition, "China,"page 385. Also, "TheNestorianChurch,"page431. 


told them of Jesus ; and now their self-sacrificing devo- 
tion in past ages is richly repaid in the outpouring of 
the Holy Spirit on their children. Scarcely a score of 
the priests could read their own MSS. when Dr. Per- 
kins reached them, and not one woman. Now there are 
3,000 intelligent readers of the Bible, and every reader, 
child or adult, is an independent lamp in his dark village, 
neighbourhood, or household. 

The thought of making the children who are educated 
in Bible knowledge " lamps " in the heathen villages, 
is fraught with instruction. Let us remember the happy 
Missionary Karen girls, and make similar use of our own 
English girls in country villages. There are girls con- 
nected with every Bible class and mothers' class in 
London, who might be Bible-readers. Mrs. Porter, who 
has long been engaged in Missionary schools at Cudda- 
pah, Madras, assures us that allured by the singing of a 
child, in its own village, of some part of " The sweet 
Story of Old/' and then by its reading of the New 
Testament, a native woman came forty miles to hear. 
Perhaps the girls in our village schools would be very 
different when they leave them, had they been so 
taught in the Scriptures that they could teach again, for 
the word of the Lord would never return unto Him 
void, but shall prosper in the thing whereto He sent it. 

Immediately that the Nestoriaxs, like the Karens, 
had received in their own tongue the wonderful words 
of God, — ever sacred in their memories, — they, too, rose 
in the scale of nations. " "When I commenced," says 
Dr. Perkins, "reducing the language of the Nestorians 


to writing, I early observed that there were no words in 
that language for icife, and home. Why not ? Because 
the things signified did not exist among the people. 
Woman and house were the nearest approximations." 

" In all their social and domestic usages, woman 
was the down-trodden slave, and man the tyrant lord. 
Mothers and sisters, among these fallen Christians, were 
not accustomed to eat with their husbands and brothers 
when we first went among them ; they must serve and 
then take the remnants, if any there were; but the 
revival of pure Christianity has elevated woman to her 
proper dignity and place." 

The girls return from the Missionary Schools to their 
mountain homes in Tyari to teach and bless their kin- 
dred. " We have enjoyed," says the same Missionary, 
" seasons of most affecting interest in giving instructions 
to those young brethren and sisters on sending them 
forth to their distant posts of toil and self-sacrifice — as 
we had ourselves left the endearments of America to 
come to dark and far-off Persia. 

u I now recall one such young married couple, who 
have long been located in a deep gorge of those central 
mountains which are the home of thousands of Nes- 
torians, where the lofty encircling ranges limit the 
rising and setting of the sun to ten o'clock a.m. and 
two p.m. most of the year ; where the towering cones 
of solid rock, like peering Gothic spires, cast their 
pointed shadows from the moonbeams on the sky, as on 
a canvas, nay, rear their summits against that canopy 
which seems to rest on them as pillars ; and where, in 


winter, men must creep around the steep and lofty cliffs 
with whispers, lest the sound of their voices by an echo 
bring down upon them the terrific avalanche ever ready 
to quit its bed at the summons of the slightest jar." 

There are many such secluded spots among the lofty 
mountains of Koordistan ; and here it is that our intel- 
ligent, cultivated young helpers plant themselves as 
spiritual watchmen. The most rugged districts of these 
mountains are the most populous, as they offer the safest 
asylums to the long-persecuted Christians. 

Even these secluded districts were, seventeen years 
ago, the scene of the massacre of thousands of Nesto- 
rians by the ruthless Koords ; and yet now the valleys 
thus desolated are again quite as thickly populated as 
before. The dreadful barbarities of the Koords, who 
tossed infants on their spears, led to their subjugation 
and punishment by the Turks, and drove forth the 
trembling survivors from their native cliffs and gorges 
to come in contact with the people of other nations, 
breaking up their entire isolation from the rest of Chris- 
tendom in regions where they had clung, as for their 
life, to their rare parchment copies of the New Testa- 
ment in an ancient unknown tongue, locked up in their 
venerable old churches. 

The Missionary work among the Nestorians has been 
eminently God's work, — " the excellency of the power" 
has been very clearly seen to be of God, and not of men. 
" Now," says Dr. Perkins, " we have been permitted 
to meet at the communion table with hundreds of Nes- 
torian brothers and sisters in Christ at the same time ; 


and never, till admitted to the marriage supper of the 
Lamb, do I expect to sit in such heavenly places in 
Christ Jesus as at these Nestorian communions." 

To " Israel" converted of old, and to " Israel" 
hidden among the heathen, what if at these two points 
America has been honoured to carry the message 
which is to make them blossom and bud, and fill the 
face of the world with fruit ? " Behold, these shall come 
from far : and, lo, these from the north and from the 
west ; and these from the land of Sinim." — Isa. xlix. 12. 
It is no light thing " to be God's servant to raise up the 
tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel." 
The 49th of Isaiah is a wondrous prophecy, as relating 
to their gathering together. 

To return in conclusion to the Karens, as Mrs. Mason 
would have us. The Institute for 50 girls, as her 
frontispiece will show, is finished, and finished at a 
cost of upwards of 11,000 rupees; a self-supporting 
normal school for 50 young men is also erected, and 
there are 1 40 self-supporting Jungle schools in Toung- 
hoo ; but foreign help is still needed in many ways, to 
the provision of which it is hoped the reading of this 
little book will conduce. If native preachers, school 
teachers, and Bible-readers are to be sent forth, their 
support of £10 a-year must at first be guaranteed; 
and help, as we have seen, must often be afforded to 
them and their families in times of distress, famine, 
and sickness. Teachers go out hitherto without any 
stated salary, taking just what the people can give them. 

Mrs. Mason's visit to America issued in the estab- 


lishment at Philadelphia of a Woman's Union Mis- 
sionary Society for Heathen Lands, whose object it 
is to send out and sustain single ladies to raise up and 
superintend native Bible-women and School Teachers. 
They have already raised £4?Q0 for this purpose. 

Of the fund for Mrs. Mason's use, entrusted to the 
Secretary of the London Bible and Domestic Female 
Missions, she took with her on her return i?70, as 
the salary for one year of seven Karen Bible- woman, 
and £52 likewise was placed at her disposal for inci- 
dental expenses and appliances in starting the missions. 
She writes that the idea has already taken effect, and 
that she found four Bible-women at work in Rangoon 
under fit superintendence, but needing pecuniary help ; 
and she adds, " I am daily asking God for means to sup- 
ply the native Schoolmasters and Schoolmistresses each 
with a new Karen Bible (cost 6s.), which they are long- 
ins; for more than meat and drink. AVill not England 
do this for the Karens, and increase and multiply the 
Bible-readers both for the Burmese and the Shans." 

" The Shans are even a more interesting race than 
the Burmese. They are the merchant princes (like the 
Armenians) of Burmah. They come down to its sea- 
ports every year from the mountains, bringing precious 
stones, Chinese cloths, nice lacquered boxes, silver- 
hafted knives, sugar, stick lac, and spades. No Mis- 
sionary ever dwelt among them ; once a Karen teacher 
visited for about six months, among the hundreds who 
pitch their tents in Tounghoo, and they have, ever 
since, inquired fur their friend ' Sahya.' 


" I once met a large company of them on the plains. 
I thought the women exceedingly beautiful. They are 
a broken nation like the Karens, no longer having a 
king of their own, but paying tribute to foreigners, and 
they seem to feel their degradation deeply. In the 
cities they are Buddhists, but Buddhism is not their 
native religion. The women might probably first be 
willing to receive the Gospel, for among the Karens 
they have generally been the first to come forward — first 
to receive the teachers — and first to renounce their 

" Woman is the educator of Burmah, and, strange to 
say, she carries on the chief business and trade of the 
country. It is she who, at present, tramples on the 
'white book/ and gives her son the palm-leaf; who 
teaches the toddling child to tug its dress full of sand 
up-hill every night to the pagcfda. She also excites dis- 
cord, fans rebellion, and overturns dynasties. She can 
and she will rise. Teach her to rise towards God, and 
let us do it ere it is too late. An aged Burmese said 
to me, ' Don't tell me ; I can't learn your prayer ; 
I'm too old. Your Jesus doesn't know me. I've 
worshipped Guadama. I've done good. I've fed the 
priests. I've built a kyoung. If I take another reli- 
gion now, I shall fall between the two. No, no ; let 
me alone. I'm an old woman ; if I'm lost, I'm lost. 
Had I heard when I was young, I might have believed, 
but Loonbie Loonbie, too late, too late." 

" ' All is dark/ murmured another citron woman ; 
' we know nothing ; we are lost in the jungle.' 


" After reading to her, for a third time, a tract to 
which she seemed to give ear, we thought she appeared 
indifferent. Feeling sad, I arose, and inquired if she 
desired Christians to visit her no more. 

" ' No teacheress,' she exclaimed, with emphasis ; ' / 
am thinking!' 

" Oh, how often have these words brought comfort ! 
When the cold ' Go !' has met us — when the laugh of 
derision has rung after us — when traversing mountains 
and burning sands, with blistered feet — when we have 
sunk weary on the threshold of home, then it has echoed 
in our ear, ' Bunnah is thinking !' and when, in Chris- 
tian lands, we have met the nerveless hand, the cold 
eye, the heartless tone, then came again the echo — 
' Burmaii is thinking!' 

Christian friends! England must help Burmah and 
her Karen mountaineers. 

Subscriptions in favour of Mrs. Mason's general work 
will be received for her at Messrs. Ransom's, Bankers, 2, 
Pall Mall, and by Messrs. Nisbet, Berners Street. Those 
intended especially for her Schools can be remitted to 
Miss Webb, Secretary of the Female Education Society, 
15, Shaftesbury Crescent, Pimlico, S. W. ; and those for 
Bibles and Bible-women for Touxghoo, to Mrs.Ranyard, 
13, Hunter Street, Brunswick Square, W. C. 

Printed by M. S. Rickerby, Hand Court, Upper Thames Street. E. C. 


THE MISSING LINK; or, Bible-Women in the 
Homes of the London Poor. 

By L. N. R. Small crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. cloth. Also, a cheaper 
Edition, Is. 6d. cloth limp. 

"This little Book of wbioh upwards of 40,000 copies have now teen 
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SELVES. Surprising as it may seem, it has been proved that as au 

instrument of civilization— an instrument fur working out domestic and 

social reform, there is nothing like the Bible." 

LIFE-WORK ; or, The Link and the Rivet. 

By L. N. R. Crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. cloth. 

•' A volume, supplementary to 'The Missing Link,' has just been pub- 
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AEttOAD are included in its pages, as well as those at home." 

2 c 

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